Students Celebrate triumph against the odds at House of Lords

The success of over 104 students who have been helped by the Helena Kennedy Foundation to overcome a variety of obstacles was celebrated at the House of Lords on Tuesday 4 March 2014.

The House of Lords celebration brought together students from disadvantaged backgrounds who have progressed from FE colleges from as far afield as Hull and up into higher education. The event was supported by exam board OCR.

Each student selected by the Helena Kennedy Foundation received a bursary of £1500 to help cover the costs of university study, as well as on-going guidance and training from the Foundation. 

The Helena Kennedy Foundation was set up in Baroness Kennedy’s name over 15 years ago to take forward the findings of her seminal ‘Learning Works’ report. Speaking at the event, Baroness Kennedy said: “Our Bursary holders are truly inspirational people and it is an honour to witness and support their rise to success. I am delighted to have presented these students with one of our awards in acknowledgment of their achievements at university. Life is all about learning new things; each awarded student has shown fortitude and determination in taking the next step in their life”

Mark Dawe, Chief Executive of OCR, commented: “It is a privilege to be able to celebrate the achievements of some quite remarkable young people today. They are inspirational and great ambassadors for the potential of the FE sector. The Foundation removes some of the key barriers for students, who, without the Foundation’s assistance, would struggle to progress.”

Dr Ann Limb, Chair and Founder of the Foundation in 1998, and chair of trustees, said: “We know there are so many talented people out there who have the ability to succeed in higher education but still miss out on the opportunity. Making the leap from college to university can be a big step and our Foundation works with colleges across the UK to support students to overcome real disadvantage.  We are determined to continue to invest in talent, reward hard work and believe in the potential of education to transform lives”.


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Notes to editors

1. The Helena Kennedy Foundation was founded in 1998 by Dr Ann Limb to take forward recommendations from ‘Learning Works’, the report by Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, the President of the Foundation. The charity, based near Old Street in London, provides bursaries, mentoring and work placements to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds to progress from Further Education colleges into higher education.

2. About OCR – www.ocr.org.uk
Exam board OCR sponsored the event at the House of Lords. OCR (Oxford Cambridge and RSA) is a leading UK awarding body, providing a wide range of qualifications to meet the needs of learners of all ages and abilities. OCR qualifications include AS/A Levels, GCSEs, Cambridge Nationals, Cambridge Technicals, Entry Level qualifications, and vocational qualifications in areas such as IT, business, languages, teaching/training, administration and secretarial skills.

Each year more than three million students gain OCR qualifications, which are offered by 13,000 centres including schools, sixth form colleges, FE colleges, training providers, voluntary organisations, local authorities, and businesses ranging from SMEs to multi-national organisations.

OCR is part of the Cambridge Assessment Group. www.ocr.org.uk.

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