OVER the past ten years, the Upper Hunter Education Fund (UHEF) has supported more than 700 local students with pursuing their tertiary education dreams.
Run by a small group of hard working volunteers, the fund has provided more than $650,000 in financial assistance with an aim to level the playing field so that tertiary education is equally available to all.
They also provide mentoring opportunities for young students, says the fund’s president Andrew White, who was extremely pleased to accept a $30,000 cheque from global thoroughbred breeding and horse racing team, Godolphin this week, which will go towards a new UHEF initiative – assisting families with the financial burden suffered from the drought.
Mr White said in addition to the existing assistance available, Godolphin’s contribution will mean that students who may not have been eligible will now have access to assistance.
“After discussions with local youth services, Godolphin approached the fund offering additional support to relieve family pressures around current and future education needs suffered during this severe drought,” he added.
“Some kids may feel their further education aspirations are placing a financial strain on their families.
“This significant new funding from Godolphin aims to give kids and families another avenue of support during this difficult period of drought.”
Managing Director of Godolphin in Australia Vin Cox said the fund’s achievement is entirely off the back of a resourceful volunteer committee and local benefactors.
“UHEF is a great program doing an inspiring job in supporting local Upper Hunter families,” he said.
“We wanted to give additional support to the great work they are doing and help address anticipated drought pressures on education.
“The education of our youth is a key element of Godolphin’s commitment to our local communities and we’re really proud to support sustainable programs such as the UHEF.”
With the impacts of the drought expected to be felt for some time, this initial drought support will be available to help students through the next 1 to 2 years of their tertiary education.
The fund will be seeking applications for tertiary education assistance over the next couple of months for 2019.
They are also looking for candidates from Upper Hunter farming families with a genuine need for financial assistance due to hardship as a result of the severe drought conditions in the Upper Hunter and Muswellbrook Shires who may be eligible for immediate assistance.
The eligibility criteria has been adopted from the Federal Government’s farm assistance package.
Application forms are available on Upper Hunter Education Fund Facebook page or contact Andrew White on firstname.lastname@example.org.