Students from south London are to benefit from over £1.5 million of bursaries and scholarships, thanks to Goldsmiths, University of London and their generous donors.
Goldsmiths, based in New Cross, has announced £1.5 million worth of scholarships and bursaries to support over 200 students with tuition fees and their living costs. Among the bursaries are full fee waivers for ten students living in Lewisham and The Mayor’s Award, set up by Lewisham Council in memory of those who died in the New Cross Fire.
Speaking on Thursday evening at a ceremony to honour last year’s recipients and thank donors, Warden of Goldsmiths Patrick Loughrey said: “Many students may not be able to come to university without the funding we are honouring this evening. These awards exist thanks to gifts from others made generously and repeatedly over the years.”
Sandra Ruddock lost her husband Paul and sister in law Yvonne in the New Cross Fire in 1981. She attended the ceremony to meet the recipients of last year’s award. She said: “There were many children who died in the fire who never got the chance to go to university. It gives children from underprivileged backgrounds that wish.”
She added: “It also keeps our relatives memory alive. Every year someone new will hear about and remember the victims of the New Cross Fire.”
Ebony-Rae Smith is one of the recipients of The Mayor’s Awards and Lewisham Fee Waiver and is studying English and American Literature. She said: “I wouldn’t have been able to finish my studies without this award. I have a two year old son so it really helps with childcare expenses.”
Councillor Damien Egan attended the event on behalf of Mayor Sir Steve Bullock. He said: “The events surrounding the New Cross Fire and its aftermath are etched into the heart of the borough. The Mayor’s Award is intended as a tribute, a mark of respect to the 14 young people who tragically died. It is also intended as a mark of hope and as an acknowledgement of the virtues shown by the families.”
Cllr Egan added: “The Mayor’s Award give four local young people an opportunity to pursue their further education. The alumni of this award is growing and many have gone on to achieve great things.”