£10k grant to support students from care background

Crerar Hotels Trust backing for bursary scheme

Date posted

15 December 2016


EDINBURGH Napier University has been awarded a £10,000 grant by the Crerar Hotels Trust to help students from a care background undertake degree courses.

The University’s Development Trust will use the cash to help fund bursaries for students starting in 2017.

The move is part of a range of initiatives at the University aimed at “widening access” and supporting people from disadvantaged backgrounds as they make the transition to higher education.

Statistics suggest only six per cent of “looked after” children go on to study at university. Many have grown up in an atmosphere of insecurity and have no family financial support or even a family to return to during holidays.

Edinburgh Napier aims to encourage care-experienced students to opt for education rather than employment by offering a bursary award for each year of their four-year course in a bid to reduce financial uncertainty.

Crerar Hotels operate 14 hotels and inns across the UK, of which 13 are based in Scotland, and up to 50 per cent of the group’s distributable profits are donated to charities operating within areas where Crerar Hotels are based.

The Trust, which is chaired by Paddy Crerar, has awarded £7m of grants to more than 400 organisations over the last 16 years. This forms part of a commitment to re-invest in the communities in which the group’s hotels and inns are based.

The Crerar Hotels Trust meets twice a year to award grants, with application periods closing on April 1 and October 1. In this current funding round, £315,652 of grants were awarded to 40 organisations. A wide variety of organisations received awards, including those providing support across health, education and social inclusion to people of all ages.

Katrina Castle, Head of Widening Access at Edinburgh Napier University, said: “We are proud of our reputation for widening access to higher education to students from non-traditional and disadvantaged backgrounds, and delighted that the Crerar Hotels Trust are supporting us generously in our ambitions.

“Our goal is that any student’s decision to come to and remain at Edinburgh Napier University is based on academic ability alone. We want to lead the way in supporting the academic ambitions and aspirations of all students who wish to study with us. A gift to support bursaries for care experienced students through their educational journey represents a commitment to creating this level playing field.”

Paddy Crerar, Chairman of The Crerar Hotels Trust and Chief Executive of Crerar Hotels, said: “We are delighted to have made this award to Edinburgh Napier University and look forward to hearing how this funding helps impact their work. Crerar Hotels is committed to giving back to the local community to help it grow and thrive, and provide opportunities that may otherwise seem out of reach.

“For every stay our customers have with us they are supporting others who really need it. It is great for our folk in the hotels to see their hard work and efforts helping people in their own communities as well as those from throughout the whole of Scotland and Yorkshire.”