Shankill students encouraged to apply for education bursary in memory of Baroness May Blood

General view of the Shankill Road in Belfast
-Credit: (Image: Justin Kernoghan)


Young students from the Shankill area are being encouraged to apply for an education bursary in memory of Baroness May Blood.

The Baroness May Blood Third Level Education Bursaries are fully financed by Argyle Business Centre, with the bursaries established last year in memory of May, who was one of their founding board members.

Baroness May Blood grew up in the Springmarin Estate and from humble beginnings working in the linen mills, she went on to become the first peeress from Northern Ireland in the House of Lords, and founder of the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition with Monica McWilliams.

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Having never had the opportunity growing up of going into further education, she later in life developed an interest in supporting life-long education, particularly through promoting the values of integrated education in Northern Ireland.

The bursaries in her name continue this focus on education. For the academic year 2023/24 £21,000 was distributed to 24 students to aid with their third level studies, with 18 full-time receiving £1,000, and six part-time receiving £500.

As a result of this success the team at Argyle Business Centre have engaged with local sponsors with the total for disbursement this year approaching £30,000.

Argyle Business Centre say the bursaries highlight the importance they attach to the development of education and training in North Belfast. The main aim is to provide financial assistance to students in the area, with some bursaries specifically for those participating in vocational training.

All applications are considered, with special consideration given to candidates who have significant barriers and hardship preventing them from realising their full potential through education for example through economic or family circumstances. Bursary awards of £1,000 will be made for full-time courses, and £500 for part-time courses.

Eligible participants must be resident in the Greater Shankill hinterland, including Ballysillan. They also must be preparing to study on a full-time or part-time further education, higher education, or vocational training course. Applicants must also be at least 18 years of age on July 1, 2024.

Applications for the Baroness May Blood Third Level Education Bursaries are now open, with a deadline of midnight on Thursday, June 27. The online application form is available on the Argyle Business Centre website here.

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