When launching the Hope Fund last year, NCC Group Principal and CEO Gerry McDonald said: “Hope is in short supply at the moment. We are pressed down by the weight of the crisis and the continuous cycle of bad news. We have discussed what else we can do for our community and have decided to set up this Hope Fund which will be used to support any of our learners who need immediate help because they or their family has suffered hardship through Covid-19.”
The Hope Fund really made a difference to so many. It was organised so that it was quick and easy for students to apply and get the help they desperately needed. Many of the applications were very moving and it was obvious that some learners were clearly in need of extra support.
One student wrote: “I have been in lockdown with my 3-year-old son who has ADHD and we have had no support at all. My cooker is broken. I’m desperately struggling and I don’t have a microwave. We’re eating sandwiches and cold food. Please can you help.”
Another said: “My mum is self-employed and has had no income for weeks. She is a single parent to myself and my two siblings and we’re aged 17, 14 and 2. My mum has applied for universal credit but it takes 6 weeks to process, so at present she has no income to support me. I worry so much I can’t concentrate.”
After receiving a donation, student Sevan replied: “Thank you for supporting me. Now I have money to buy enough food. Thank you so much.”
TES Head of FE Julia Belgutay said: “Further education providers have excelled in what has been a truly challenging year, and the amazing individuals, teams and institutions on our TES Awards shortlist showcase that. Our judges were highly impressed with the calibre of entries.”
The awards ceremony will be held online this year with winners announced on Friday 28th May. For more information visit tesfeawards.co.uk