Deserving Art Student Wins Bursary Award

Sun, 2001-02-04 00:00

A college student from Peterlee has recently received some wonderful news that she has been awarded a bursary to help towards the cost of going to university.

The £1,500 bursary was awarded to Katie-Anne Dowson by the Helena Kennedy Foundation, who’s patrons include Dame Judi Dench, Julie Walters OBE and Joanna Lumley OBE.

Katie-Anne, aged 18, who has just completed a Level 3 Art & Design course at East Durham College, will use the money on travel expenses, buying art materials, books, computer software and a camera to help with her studies at the Cleveland College of Art & Design.

The Helena Kennedy Foundation exists to overcome social injustice by providing financial bursaries, mentoring and support to disadvantaged students from the further and adult education sectors, enabling them to complete their studies in higher education and move on successfully into employment.

The Foundation’s Award Scheme provides much needed support to students who have overcome significant obstacles, both financial and personal, to complete their further education.

Katie-Anne, who’s mum sadly died when she was only 4, has been bought up by her Auntie, Catherine and Uncle Joseph. Katie-Anne’s sister Zoe also lives with them and their three cousins.

“It was a very difficult and upsetting time for me, having to undergo much change and heartache as a very young child.

“My Auntie and Uncle have been wonderful, but with five children to look after and my Auntie being a housewife and my Uncle working as a security guard money has always been very tight for us.

“I think the bursary will be immensely helpful and also the personal support that is part of the award too. I’m not sure how I would have coped at CCAD and it will be great to have someone show me around and what is possible for me to do in the future,” she said.

Katie-Anne will study a Foundation Degree in Graphic Design, starting in September, and hopes to go on to become a multi-discipline graphic designer working in advertising and digital marketing.

Joseph Dowson, who works at Caterpillar, said: “We are extremely proud at the way Katie-Anne has turned out.”

Each year the Helena Kennedy Foundation invites Further Education and Sixth Form Colleges and Adult Education Centres across the UK to nominate up to 5 students for a Helena Kennedy Foundation Award.  The Foundation then has the onerous task of selecting who will be given the bursaries worth £1500.

Dr Ann Limb DL, Founder and Chair of Trustees at the Foundation, said: “This year, as in previous years, Trustees were overwhelmed with applications and it was exceedingly difficult to make choices.”

“Trustees were moved and inspired by the commitment and dedication shown by applicants in continuing their education.”

Katie-Anne’s tutor at East Durham College Lynn Barlow added: “Given the way her background and circumstances could have affected her, Katie-Anne has grown into a very mature and sensible girl, polite and friendly to staff and her peers.

“Despite being mildly autistic, she is keen to let her work speak for her and not to hide behind any reasons why she might not be able to do things. She has a steely self-determination and is eager to grasp and apply new ideas. She is a credit to herself and the College.”

She added: “This is a young lady who unfortunately has had to suffer much heartache and turmoil in her life, but who has also been in recent years well supported by her Aunt and Uncle, who too have had a lot to bear against difficult emotional and financial circumstances. To get this award will be a quantum leap in fortune both for herself and her family, and signifies what a tremendous success they have all made of this young lady’s life journey.”