New City College hardship fund scheme shortlisted for award
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An east London college has been shortlisted for a further education award for its £200,000 fund supporting students and their families impacted by Covid-19.
The TES Further Education Awards 2021 recognised New City College (NCC) for its Hope Fund, which gives one-off emergency financial donations to those in need.
In total, 1,163 people received support for food, housing, medical care, expenses related to their studies such as for laptops or stationery, or to cover sudden loss of wages or costs related to the bereavement of a relative.
The college, which has campuses in Havering, Redbridge and Tower Hamlets, has been shortlisted in the award's contribution to the local community category, which celebrates the provider which has made the "most impact in supporting their community socially, culturally or economically".
When launching the Hope Fund last year, NCC group principal and chief executive Gerry McDonald said: “Hope is in short supply at the moment.
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“We are pressed down by the weight of the crisis and the continuous cycle of bad news.
“We have discussed what else we can do for our community and have decided to set up this Hope Fund which will be used to support any of our learners who need immediate help because they or their family has suffered hardship through Covid-19.”
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The college described applications for the fund as “very moving” and said it was "obvious that some learners were clearly in need of extra support”.
One student wrote: “I have been in lockdown with my three-year-old son who has ADHD and we have had no support at all.
“My cooker is broken. I’m desperately struggling and I don't have a microwave.
“We’re eating sandwiches and cold food. Please can you help?”
After receiving a donation, another student replied: “Thank you for supporting me. Now I have money to buy enough food.
“Thank you so much.”
TES' head of further education, Julia Belgutay, said: “Further education providers have excelled in what has been a truly challenging year, and the amazing individuals, teams and institutions on our TES awards shortlist showcase that.
“Our judges were highly impressed with the calibre of entries.”
The awards ceremony will be held online this year, with the winners announced on Friday, May 28.