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Thirteen gifted students celebrated in the New Cross Fire Bursary awards

Thirteen gifted students celebrated in the New Cross Fire Bursary awards

13 students awarded £4,500 each from bursary which was set up to commemorate the victims of the New Cross fire

·Lewisham Council has given over £325,000 in bursary awards to support more than 40 local students since 2007

·The Mayor joined the Warden of Goldsmiths, bursary recipients and families of the New Cross fire victims for the private ceremony on Thursday 13 October

An awards ceremony took place at Goldsmiths, University of London, last Thursday to celebrate thirteen local students who received bursaries from Lewisham Council – in memory of the victims of the New Cross fire.

Now in its fifteenth year, the New Cross Fire Bursary Awards were established as a memorial to the fourteen young people who lost their lives because of a house fire at 436 New Cross Road in 1981 – widely believed to be the result of a racially-motivated arson attack.

The in-person ceremony took place on Thursday 13 October for the first time since 2019 and celebrated bursary recipients from 2020, 2021 and 2022. Each of the thirteen students received £4,500 towards the cost of their undergraduate courses.

The bursaries support young residents in their higher education journeys, enabling them to study at Goldsmiths, University of London, in the face of high tuition fees and the rising cost of student living.

Since 2007, Lewisham Council has given more than £325,000 in bursaries, supporting more than 40 students. Goldsmiths also waives the university tuition fees for many of these students, meaning they graduate without the burden of debt.

Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham, said:

“We’ve been delighted to continue awarding our Lewisham Council bursaries to commemorate the New Cross Fire victims.

“The fire was a seminal moment in Black British history and these bursaries are intended to be a small part of keeping that memory alive and making a difference for our future generations. When I stood for election in May, I committed to keeping these bursaries and we’re also looking at how we can fund a permanent memorial to the New Cross Fire.”

Professor Frances Corner OBE, Warden of Goldsmiths, University of London said:

“These bursaries were established in 2006 and since then we have been able to support more than forty local students to study at Goldsmiths thanks to generous financial support from Lewisham Council.

“Many of these students have also benefitted from a fee waiver from Goldsmiths, an additional layer of financial help for students who may otherwise not be able to attend university.

“We are proud to be working closely with the Council to ensure people in Lewisham are able to experience the transformative impact of higher education in their home borough.”

Reece Timis – third-year student at Goldsmiths, studying BSc (Hons) Marketing, who received the bursary in 2020 – said:

“The bursary helped in many ways, both with my education and with looking after my mum. I was able to invest in my own laptop, up until that point I didn’t have one, which meant I had to spend all my time in the library working on shared desktops.

“As well as contributing to my studies, the bursary also helped my family out, especially during the pandemic. My mum is severely disabled and can’t work. She relies on benefits to support herself, my sister and me – it can be really hard to make ends meet. But the bursary made it so much more manageable and for that I’ll always be grateful.”

Applications for the New Cross Fire Bursaries 2022-23 open later this month. Please visit the Goldsmiths website

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