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Funding new talent

We are pleased to announce the launch of our new initiative the Worth Fund, and congratulate Alfie Parker on being the first recipient of this award.

The Worth Fund is a new award specifically aimed at supporting local talent and enabling our residents to realise their ambitions.

The fund which is worth up to £5,000 will be available every year to eligible individuals, and can be used to help with further and higher education opportunities, start-up businesses, social enterprises and specific projects / resources that benefit the community and economy.

Alfie’s story came to our attention when his mum Karen wrote to us asking for sponsors to help him fulfil his dream of attending the Royal Academy of Music as he would like to forge a career in musical theatre and become a professional performer.

Alfie has secured himself a place at the Royal Academy, however, there are no scholarships or funding from the academy so it is now up to Alfie and him mum Karen to raise the necessary fees which are £14,350 for the course and a further £11,000 in living expenses.

Moira James, housing director, said: “After hearing of Alfie’s plight we looked at our existing grants and sponsorship but felt that they didn’t suit this kind of request; so we decided to set up the Worth Fund in order to help local people realise their ambitions and give those that might not be able to an opportunity to fulfil their potential.”

After putting Alfie through his paces with our very own panel of ‘dragons’ we have granted Alfie £3,500 from the Worth Fund to help with his fees, and presented him with his cheque at our annual Funday.

More information on the Worth Fund will be available from 1 November 2014.