Headteacher of Tonypandy Community College, Mrs Helen O’Sullivan has been working with The Fairwood Trust over a period of time to develop a programme that will support students through three years at University.

Fairwood Trust is a South Wales based Trust that supports a range of training and educational developments.  At Tonypandy Community College Year 13 students have been provided with an opportunity to apply for five bursaries funded by the Trust for the three years of their university course and will be used to offset their accommodation costs whilst studying.

Charles Middleton, Trust Director has visited the College over a long period of time, has been impressed with the community dimension, ethos and culture as well as the achievements of the staff and students at Tonypandy. Mr Middleton is no stranger to the area born in Penygraig he spent many years in the Rhondda.

Eight students were interviewed by Mr Middleton and Barry Hitchock, a fellow trustee and all students were very impressive.  Mr Middleton said, “The College should be very proud of the students that were interviewed. They were both mature and articulate and had excellent interviews. We were very impressed and are pleased to be working with Tonypandy Community College.”

The bursaries will be allocated in early March 2011 in time for students to finalise choice offers and book appropriate accommodation.  Leon who is a reciprocal of a bursary said “This is an amazing opportunity for me it means I can study International Law in London, many thanks to the Trust and Mrs O’Sullivan for their support”

Headteacher, Mrs Helen O’Sullivan said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for the College to work with the Trust who have been eager to make a real difference to students’ lives. The bursaries will relieve some of the financial burden placed on the students and their families, for some it will be the difference between them being able to pursue a degree course at their preferred university or compromising their choices. We are delighted to be working with the Trust as we are the only school they have chosen to work with.”

Students recognised the fantastic opportunity that they were being given and recognised the work of the Headteacher and the Trust.