Students being educated for the farming, forestry and horticultural industry are being encouraged to apply for funding.
The Swales Trust Fund, administered by Cumbria Community Foundation, awards grants of around £500 to support students who are working towards land-based qualifications. The funding can be used to purchase study materials, specialist equipment and towards course fees and exceptional travel costs.
Students must live in Cumbria and those studying in Cumbria will be given priority. However, students studying outside the county at appropriate institutions will also be considered. There are no age restrictions on who can apply.
Carol Douglas from Sedbergh received a grant towards the cost of a woodland ecology course at the Green Wood Centre near Telford. Working part-time and a parent of two teenage children, she was unable to afford all the costs involved in attending the course to further her professional development within the forestry industry.
Carol said: “I have gained a breadth of knowledge that will be useful in my workplace. The grant gave me the motivation to look into available woodland courses and encouraged my employer to support me in this process. It has also spurred me very much into wanting to learn more.”
Another applicant from Cumbria was awarded the grant to enable her to complete a three-year part-time horticultural course over one year.
She said: “I’ve always tried to be very self-sufficient from a young age so my parents didn’t have the added extra strain of having to fund me as well. The grant has meant I can pay for my travel expenses to Newton Rigg, my study materials and specialist equipment.”
Ellen Clements, Senior Grants Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation said: “We’re very proud to be managing the Swales Trust, which helps people who wish to pursue a career in the land-based sector. Given the rurality of Cumbria, it is essential that we invest in our future farmers, foresters and landscapers.”
Applications are accepted all year round.