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Firm’s donation helps South Shields Marine School pupils

John Lightfoot hands over a donation to William Craik, a member of the Dr. Winterbottom Charitable Fund committee,
John Lightfoot hands over a donation to William Craik, a member of the Dr. Winterbottom Charitable Fund committee,

South Shields Marine School is throwing a lifeline to needy students.

The school’s Dr Winterbottom Charitable Fund was set up two years ago, to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of school founder Dr Thomas Masterman Winterbottom, and supports students locally, nationally and internationally.

Les Watson of the Dr Winterbottom Charitable Fund at South Shields Marine School.

Les Watson of the Dr Winterbottom Charitable Fund at South Shields Marine School.

Two local objectives are to offer support with Health and Wellbeing and Learning Hardship, providing small grants to individual students who may need short term help to aid their education.

South Shields-based Solar Solve Marine has supported the fund with an annual donation.

The fund is managed by a committee of governors, students and staff.

Chairman and founder Les Watson explained: “In most cases of genuine hardship, the difference between a student being able to complete their course successfully or not, is often only a matter of providing a grant of less than £100 up to a few hundred pounds.

The success rate is a great reward for the committee members.

Les Watson

“In some cases, once a student successfully completes a course, it results in a job with greater financial reward and so we will supplement a grant with a loan that they undertake to pay back when they are working again.

“It is down to trust and the fund’s objective of wanting to remove unnecessary stress for any of South Tyneside College’s students who are trying to improve themselves and their career prospects but need a bit of financial assistance.

“The success rate is a great reward for the committee members.”

Chairman John Lightfoot MBE, himself a Fellow of the Marine School, presented the cheque and said: “The Marine School is 157 years old and has always been recognised globally as one the world’s best and probably the most well-known within the maritime industry.

“Throughout my working life and through Solar Solve Marine we have communicated personally with hundreds of the thousands of people who have lived in the borough to attended the Marine School or South Tyneside College.

“Every one of them has been full of praise for the education and local reception they received.

“The Dr. Winterbottom Charitable Fund is yet another great example of how the people of South Tyneside welcome and look after their guests.”

The charity can be contacted by telephone on o191 427 3717 or email dwcf@stc.ac.uk.