In difficult times it is always good to hear of organisations and senior managment teams that can be far sighted and innovative. Well done Gateshead College.

What is the Gateshead College Foundation?

It’s an independent charity set up by Gateshead College with the purpose of making sure that young people and adults, living in our region, can access funds to enable them to develop their skills and improve their life chances at Gateshead College.

It’s the first organisation of its kind in the region, and is something the College has had in the pipeline for a while, but the need to set it up has become more pressing with the current state of the economy and the funding cuts, which mean that for many it is more difficult to come to College than it ever has been. The abolition of EMA, cuts to fee remission for adults and other funding cuts are causing major issues for many students.

Education has the power to transform lives, and there is no greater need than now for people to have the chance to develop the skills they need to get jobs, improve their prospects and get our economy moving. The launch of the Foundation will remove some of the barriers that stand in their way and will also give those with particular talents the opportunity to thrive!

The Foundation will provide resources and support not available through other statutory routes, to people who want to study at Gateshead College; this might be in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, equipment, gifts, bursaries and prizes. It could help towards the payment of fees, pay for specialist equipment or uniforms, help talented athletes to go to competitions or help with travel costs – especially for those who live some distance away.

In addition to financial support, the Foundation will also seek to offer other forms of support, to ensure Gateshead College students experience the very best personal, professional and social development we can offer. This may take the form of mentoring support, volunteering opportunities, work experience programmes and community projects.

The Foundation will operate as a registered charity, and will be run by a nominated board of Trustees, that will be entirely independent from Gateshead College.

Who will benefit from the Gateshead College Foundation?Anyone who wishes to study at Gateshead College can apply to The Foundation for support.

All applications will be judged against set criteria, depending on the kind of support being requested.

All applications will be independently assessed by the Board of Trustees.

How did the Foundation come about?

Over the last two years, senior management at Gateshead College along with the Board of Governors, have been discussing ways in which the College can offer extra support to its students.

We know some families work hard and don’t get any government assistance but might struggle to pay for the extras, for example equipment or trips and visits. And there are others who, with the cuts to fee remission and EMA, will not even be able to get to College, never mind make the most of their time when they’re here. We know we needed to do something about that. Without helping people get the skills they need to improve their own prospects our economy will never recover and our communities will suffer.

How will people apply to the Foundation for support?

All applications for support will go directly to the Foundation.

Depending on which form of support is needed, individuals may be means tested, assessed on application or may be required to take part in an interview.

When will the Gateshead College Foundation be in operation?

The Gateshead College Foundation will be finalised in the next few weeks and a Board of Trustees will be appointed. The Foundation will be open for applications for students wishing to enrol, or continue learning at Gateshead College, from September 2011.

More information will be available going forward, as our plans are finalised

Where will funding for the Gateshead College Foundation come from?

Gateshead College will make an initial contribution of £1 million from its reserves and each year will contribute a small percentage of any surplus generated. Other funding will come from fundraising activity, corporate sponsorship, donations and gift aiding from the surplus of other commercial operations run by Gateshead College.

If you would like to sign up to receive more information about the Gateshead College Foundation, please call us on 0191 490 2246.

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