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Ten talented students from the West Midlands have each been awarded bursaries towards their studies at the University of Cambridge by OCR.
Having recently completed their A Levels at schools and colleges in Birmingham, Evesham, Halesowen, Hereford, Redditch, Stoke-on-Trent, Stratford, Sutton Coldfield and Wolverhampton, the students were each presented with their bursary awards on Friday 20 September by Liam Sammon, OCR Director of Commercial and Education Services, at a ceremony in Coventry.
Recipients of OCR bursaries receive £3,000 for each year of their undergraduate studies which they can use for living or tuition costs, or a combination of both. The award fund, arising from OCR’s historical association with the West Midlands Exam Board, helps talented students in the region make the most of their studies at the University of Cambridge.
Of the ten awards, one went to Barnum Swannell of Kingsley College who achieved six A* grades at A Level. Another went to Red Cross volunteer Gerard Martin from Bishop Walsh Catholic School, who is the first person in his school’s history to be offered a place to study medicine at Cambridge.
OCR’s Liam Sammon said: “This is the tenth year in succession that we awarded bursaries to some of the West Midlands’ brightest and most enthusiastic students and once again we have been extremely impressed. As well as achieving excellent grades, these successful young people have demonstrated selflessness towards others and great determination to continue studying in the face of obstacles. They can now enjoy their degrees at the University of Cambridge without some of the financial constraints.”
Recipient Shanti Daffern, from Prince Henry’s High School in Evesham, who is going to study English at Peterhouse College said: "I am so grateful to OCR for awarding me a bursary. Coming from a low-income background, the costs involved in university study have been daunting. Now instead of worrying about finances, I can focus on why I’m really going to Cambridge – to explore a subject I love while having a host of new, scary, brilliant experiences. I hope to join the Cambridge Union and other societies, to travel and to concentrate on my studies without juggling a job alongside. The OCR bursary is a fantastic scheme and a real testament to OCR’s ethos."
Pictured are the ten talented bursary recipients. Back row, left to right, Asiya Siddiqua, Shanti Daffern, OCR’s Liam Sammon, Nicole Stephens, Emily Tyler and Nadine Hunt. Front row, left to right, Gerard Martin, Rhys Wenlock, Simon Lam, Jamie Barfoot and Barnum Swannell.