The University of Birmingham has been awarded £30,000 to provide bursaries to students from the West Midlands’ most deprived areas over the next three years.

The money is was one of nine awards from The National Express Foundation to help disadvantaged young people across the region.

The foundation will provide £100,000 to assist 48 young students across the West Midlands progress to higher education and hundreds of kids enjoy new activities, equipment and training at community groups across the region.

Gail Rothnie, Head of Outreach, said, “The University of Birmingham is delighted to be working with the National Express Foundation. The Access to Birmingham (A2B) scholarship gift will be of enormous benefit to the students who receive it.

Most A2B students are the first person in their family to go to university and often come from more disadvantaged backgrounds. We are committed to providing opportunities for young people from all backgrounds to study at Birmingham and to support them during their time with us.”

Trustees of the Foundation including Ladywood MP Shabana Mahmood agreed to make awards to six local community groups and three educational institutions.

Anthony Vigor, Chairman of the Foundation, said:

“We are delighted to announce this support for local students and community groups. The funding will support many exciting projects across the West Midlands. I look forward to seeing these projects in action and hope the funding will make a real difference." 

The projects supported are:

  • Aston Sports and Community Group. Funding will help to run activities at youth hubs in Aston for local youngsters after school and during holidays.
  • Handsworth Wood Youth Group. Funding will help set up sports activities and provide social and personal skills development for young people in the Handsworth Wood area.
  • One Aim Mix Studio. Funding will help to run a gang awareness programme and stage drama workshops with inner-city Birmingham youngsters.
  • Sport4Life. Funding will help to launch football courses in Ladywood and volunteer placement for two NEETs.
  • Three Faiths Forum. Funding will help to pair schools between the West Midlands and East London to aid better understanding of young people from different communities and backgrounds.
  • Urban Cycles. Funding will help to teach young people road safety as well as provide new bikes for group activities throughout the region.
  • South and City College Birmingham. 20 students will benefit from individual bursaries to help fund living costs while they stay in education. The bursaries are worth £20,000 over two years.
  • Stourbridge College. 20 students on resource intensive courses such as construction, arts and sport will benefit from individual bursaries.  £20,000 will support bursaries over two years.
  • University of Birmingham. Eight students from West Midlands most deprived areas will benefit from bursaries worth £30,000 over the next three years.