Free Money

Made you look…

But actually, this post is sort of about just that – and perhaps, in these financially challenging times, the following might be useful for someone out there…

Something occurred to me when I was looking at stuff about Sir William Boreman the other day – the guy who was in charge of planting those chestnut trees in Greenwich Park and looking after the Dwarf Orchard, back in the Seventeenth Century. I noticed that the Drapers Company still administer a charitable trust that he set up to help the young people of Greenwich gain an education.

In his will, he asked the Drapers to look after a school he’d founded for the children of river workers, but it floundered and was eventually compulsorily purchased to build the railway in Victorian times. So the cash was set aside to put promising young boys through the Naval School. When that, too, moved, the scholarship was changed into a foundation that helps needy young Greenwich people with educational costs. You have to be resident in Greenwich or Lewisham, and priority is still given to the children of fishermen, watermen or seamen, though given the modern paucity of such trades, others are considered these days.

It got me to thinking – Greenwich is an old place. I bet there are other scholarships and bursaries knocking around that people just don’t know about. They often have very specific and slightly eccentric caveats, but hey – we wouldn’t be British if we weren’t a little quaint…

Now, folks, this is not an exhaustive list – there are almost certainly other funny old funds around which, if you are the one-legged child of a ropemaker who was born within the Parish of St Alfege, could be your road to a free education, but it’s a start…

Are you considering Greenwich University? Can you sing? If so, it might be well worth your while joining Greenwich University Choir. There are three awards of a grand a year in memory of the late Vice Chancellor, Dr David Fussey. Any member of the choir can apply…

More of an egghead than a songbird? Maybe you are more into maths? There are up to eight studentships of fees AND maintenance offered to the brainiest Applied Maths MSc students applying to Greenwich Uni.

If you’ve already done a 1st degree at Greenwich, and fancy going onto some postgrad study, it may well be worth checking to see if you qualify for an Alumni Bursary of 10% off course fees.

Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication may be in Chiselhurst, but they’re currently building a walloping great centre on the Peninsula next to the O2. They have a whole bunch of bursaries. Check them out here.

Staying with the arts, if you’re planning a career in architecture, you’re from a black or ethnic minority background and you live in one of the Olympic host boroughs, you can apply for the Stephen Lawrence Award – there are five available, of two-grand each, in memory of another budding young architect, who never made it.

Regular readers will know that the Phantom is allergic to all forms of physical exercise, but does at least recognise there are some people who actually find that kind of thing stimulating. It takes all sorts. So if you’re a sporty type and youthful in Greenwich Council’s eyes, you might be interested in their Starting Blocks scheme.

If you think that all looks a bit dangerous, you might be interested in an MSc in Health and Safety or Occupational Hygiene. You can apply for a grant towards your programme fees.

When I looked into the idea of film bursaries, the best I could do was an old 2006 site devoted to the Greenwich Film festival (a blink-and-you’d-miss-it affair, sadly) where it seemed there were grants available to film makers in East London. The link was broken, but I guess it might be worth sending an email into the ether – let me know if you get a reply…

Better news for young musicians, though. Applications are now open for 2009′s Greenwich Music Service Young Musicans Award – where you can apply for between £200 and £2000 to further your musical career.

There also seems to be a lot of financial assistance to Trinity College of Music students – check here for details.

And finally – the one we love to hate – The Greenwich Hospital Trust. In all our moaning about what it may or may not be doing to our beloved town centre (and believe me this does NOT let them off the hook of doing anything dreadful to the market…) it is, first and foremost, a charity. It runs sheltered housing for retired seafarers and a boarding school in Norfolk, for their children. Conditions are complex, but an introduction can be found here.


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