It’s never too late to rethink your career. Just ask Rik Southworth.
After 10 years working as an accountant, Rik decided to follow his heart and turn a favourite pastime into a new career coaching American football. This brought Rik to Edge Hill University where he spent five years coaching the Lancashire American Football team and the Edge Hill Vikings American football team, winning the prestigious Edge Hill Coach of the Year award in 2016. Rik’s love of coaching resulted in him joining the University’s BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching and Development degree.
It was while preparing to study at Edge Hill that Rick heard about the Sports Scholarship. With such an impressive background in coaching and his commitment and love for sport being so evident, it’s no surprise that Rik’s application was successful!
“I was fortunate enough to be awarded a Sports Scholarship as I entered the first year of my degree.
My five years coaching before deciding to come to Edge Hill have been crammed with amazing experiences coaching American Football for the Lancashire Academy.
Before joining as a student in September, I accepted the role of Head Coach here at Edge Hill and also at Lancashire. To have finally reached the level of Head Coach in a sport I love is a dream come true. I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead.
In my time with Lancashire I have travelled all over the country coaching and been fortunate enough to work alongside the Head Coach of the national team. I have also helped to make a difference to the lives of many of the athletes I’ve coached on and off the field. Experiences like this pushed me into making a career change after 10 years as an accountant and follow my love of coaching into a degree.
I couldn’t recommend Edge Hill enough to anyone looking to study coaching or sport. The facilities are world class, lecturers are always looking to help you better yourself and the courses really help to expand your knowledge.”
“I’m an ambitious film director, photographer and graphic designer. I remember the moment I knew my life would revolve around Creative Arts. I was 11 years old and I was taking part acting in a college short. It was only an hour or so with student filmmakers but nothing had ever gripped my attention as much as the process of film-making. I began directing in college and in my down time, I practiced photography and design, these evolved rapidly from hobbies to passions and I would spend most of my nights trying to develop skills in these areas. Before my DSLR camera, I used my phone for photography with no idea how to compose a shot, but it didn’t stop me from trying. I had some great tutors in college to thank for teaching me the foundations of composition. After buying my first DSLR at 18 years old, my life was channeled through my camera.
Once I purchased a new PC, graphic design took the front seat for a long while. I was addicted to experimenting with new skills and abstract ideas. Getting in contact with a London record label through Twitter, I found myself creating artwork covers for their latest tracks, I was even asked to rebrand their logo, which was such an honour. This, for me, was my biggest achievement to date. I was proud of myself.
After a few years working with ‘A LifeLong Recording’, I was asked to put together a lyrical video for their latest track ‘Andy Murray, Love Britain’. I didn’t want to throw together a simple video so I studied a technique called kinetic typography, something that was completely new to me at the time. After a week I had a lyrical video ready that I received a surprising amount of praise for. The video was published on SB.TV and shared by people like Gary Lineker, Judy Murray and Jamal Edwards. It felt other worldly!
A friend had suggested I apply for an Excellence Scholarship which after thinking about it made perfect sense. I wanted to push my skills further, with more advanced animation and 3D building techniques but my PC couldn’t keep up with me. I was awarded the scholarship as a result of the work I did with ‘A LifeLong Recording’. With the money I was able to update my hardware which has allowed me to progress onto much larger projects with Cinema 4D and Adobe After Effects.
It will sound like a cliché, but the money was a small factor when I was awarded the scholarship. I may have received a lot of compliments and thanks for the work and projects that I have completed in the past but it’s easy to feel detached from praise through messages and social networking. Being awarded an Excellence Scholarship from Edge Hill made me feel truly acknowledged and validated. A dedicated evening to celebrate, a round of applause from an audience, a strong handshake and congratulations from the Chancellor really did make all the difference. I will never forget it, and I will always be grateful for it.”
“Two years ago I first applied for the Excellence Scholarship citing the volunteer work I did at home during college. I’ll admit now, my application was completed between work, college, exams and a busy social life! It wasn’t the best so it was no surprise when my first application was unsuccessful.
However, even though I wasn’t awarded a scholarship on that occasion, the University still took notice of my application and asked if I would like to be involved in a new initiative, the Volunteer Certificate and Ambassador Scheme.
This new opportunity has been a great help to me in my last two years at Edge Hill. I’ve met new people, got a volunteer post, and I have recently gained my silver certificate, which will look good on my CV. It is due to all of this that I thought it would be a good idea to apply for the Excellence Scholarship for Current Students, again for my volunteering. This time I made sure that my application was as good as it could be, going into as much detail as possible, no matter how insignificant it might seem. Also, something I didn’t include in my first application was evidence, as I couldn’t take photos in my first volunteer job. However my volunteer job at university let me take a photo in the sensory room in my staff t-shirt. This enhanced my application and I was successful in gaining the Excellence Scholarship.
The awards ceremony which is held for the winners of the scholarship is an amazing night where you get to show off your achievements and feel proud of yourself and what you can do. It is also a great chance for your family to congratulate you and for them to see what you’ve achieved and celebrate it.
With the money I gained I put it towards spending nearly three months in America, working on a camp for disabled children and travelling. I honestly don’t know how to sum up my time at the camp; the ups, the downs, the excitement and exhaustion. It’s been a rollercoaster of a summer which I wouldn’t change for the world!
As well as the campers, I have worked with some amazing counsellors, from all over the world. We started as strangers who were put into a cabin to live together for 10 weeks but we left as a family. Every one of the counsellors and campers has in some way or other done something to make this summer the best I’ve ever had.
It wasn’t all easy going though, there were hard times and struggles. From the 14/15 hours working a day, to limited time off at weekends and lack of contact with home. There were times where I’ve just wanted to be back home but I am honestly so glad I was strong enough not to cave in at those moments.
Once I had finished camp, I traveled far and wide around America. With my camp being in New Jersey, I left the day after camp and flew over to San Francisco for a few days, then back to Newark, down to Philadelphia and Washington. After this I did an organised trek up to Niagara Falls and finished with a few days in New York before flying home.
Some advice which I would always give to someone considering applying for a scholarship is that it never hurts to try! If you’ve done anything which can apply to a scholarship go for it! And if you do, don’t leave anything out even if you think it’s not important. A few months ago I received the amazing news that I have won a Chancellors Scholarship as well which just proves that there’s no harm in trying!”
Edge Hill University’s Excellence Scholarships and Sports Scholarships are officially open for applications!
If you’re a prospective full-time student joining a degree, foundation degree or PGCE at Edge Hill University, or if you’re a current student already enrolled on a full-time course, you may be eligible to apply for (or, in some cases, be nominated for) an award.
There’s no Crystal Maze style challenges to complete – you’ll just need to answer up to six short questions and we’ll let you know there and then which awards you may be eligible to receive.
Scholarships for Prospective Students
Excellence Scholarships, worth up to £2,000, celebrate determination, commitment and achievement in any area beyond your studies, for instance in creativity, enterprise, ICT, performance or volunteering.
These are just example areas of excellence, rather than fixed categories, so if you excel in a different area don’t be shy in telling us about it! In the past we’ve had aspiring clowns, entrepreneurs, film makers, volunteers, knitters and fundraisers to name just a few. We’re always looking for new and diverse applicants that showcase the variety of talent across the Edge Hill community.
Sports Scholarships, worth up to £1,000 per academic year, reward talent, achievement and dedication in sport and are designed to enhance your sporting performance. You’ll get a free Sport Scholarship kit, free annual Edge Hill Sport and Team Edge Hill membership, and free access to the gym and other sports facilities. Depending on your tier of award (Gold, Silver or Bronze), you may also be entitled to free personal training, strength and conditioning sessions, nutritional advice, and a sports science support package tailored to your individual needs.
If you’ve applied to Edge Hill University and firmly accepted an offer of a place on a full-time undergraduate degree (BA/BSc/LLB), foundation degree (FdA/FdSc), DipHE or PGCE, check your eligibility and make your application for an Excellence Scholarship or Sports Scholarship today!
The deadline for applications is Friday 26th May 2017.
Scholarships for Current Students
If you’re a current student, it’s not too late to add scholarship success to your CV!
Excellence Scholarships, worth up to £2,000, and Sports Scholarships, worth up to £1,000 per academic year, are available to eligible current students who are already enrolled in Year 1 or Year 2 of a full-time undergraduate degree (BA/BSc/LLB), Year 1 of a full-time foundation degree (FdA/FdSc), or Year 1 of DipHE Paramedic Practice.
There’s also a range of additional awards for current students, available to anyone enrolled on a full-time programme at Edge Hill University (excluding permanent employees of the University, repeat year students and Erasmus students).
Eligible current students can apply for:
The Mark Flinn Award, worth £500, which recognises students who are keen to develop their skills by undertaking a research project which makes extensive use of historical evidence;
The Rhiannon Evans Poetry Award, worth £500, which celebrates students who display promise and potential as creative writers of poetry.
Eligible students can be nominated by staff or current students for:
A Chancellor’s Scholarship, worth £2,000, which celebrates students who help to raise the profile of Edge Hill University in a positive way. The scholarship also rewards contributions to equal opportunities and diversity;
The Adam Bell Scholarship, worth £2,000, which honours students who make a significant contribution to the University community.
The deadline for applications for Excellence Scholarships, Sports Scholarships, the Mark Flinn Award and the Rhiannon Evans Poetry Award is Friday 26th May 2017.
The closing date for nominations for the Chancellor’s Scholarship and the Adam Bell Scholarship is Friday 28th April 2017.
Student Opportunity Fund
If you’ve got an idea which will enhance your employability, you need to travel to get some work experience, or you are looking to develop a specific skill through training or volunteering, then our Student Opportunity Fund might be the place to start.
Eligible students can apply for up to £2,000 to take advantage of career enhancing and life changing opportunities either as an individual or as part of a group. Tell us what you’d like to do, how you’re going to do it and explain why the opportunity will enhance your employability and future prospects.
The deadline for applications for the Student Opportunity Fund is 31st May 2017. You are strongly advised to submit an application as early as possible.
Luca Alfatti, a former DipHE Paramedic Practice student and scholarship winner is an award-winning overland tour guide. In 2012, Luca won the Wanderlust World Tour Guide Award, making him one of the best travel guides in the world!
Luca got the travelling bug at the age of 21, when he hopped on a plane to the USA to work at a summer camp – despite the fact he didn’t speak any English. Nowadays, Luca is fluent in four languages, including his native Italian, and can say ‘thank you’ in at least 15. He claims this as one of his most useful skills, one that gets him a long way when travelling to some of the most remote tourist destinations on earth. Luca has led tours across Europe, Asia, Africa and all around Central and South America. In 2013, he co-led the first ever commercial tour through the remote Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan. His adventurous expeditions certainly aren’t for the faint hearted. In the Wakhan Corridor, it takes six days of travelling through mountainous terrain before you even arrive at the trailhead to start the 12 day trek.
For Luca, studying to be a paramedic was a natural extension of his well-established first aid skills that he has used when working as a guide. Now qualified, Luca hopes to return to guiding and use his knowledge to give some level of medical help to those who reside in the challenging environments he visits. He donated his £5,000 World Guide Award bursary to a charity which provides shelter and vital medical care to women and children in Guatemala after he witnessed the lack of essential services available to women in the country. In addition to the financial support, Luca set up a Central American trip which took its travellers to the charity centre while he was working for overland tour company, Dragoman, a feat which he says makes him “very proud”.
In addition to his guiding, Luca is a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, which is the highest level of membership an individual can achieve and requires you to be nominated by two existing fellows before being elected by the council. Luca dedicates some of his spare time (though how he has any is a mystery!) to attending RGS events where he helps to advise aspiring explorers on their upcoming adventures.
Luca’s dedication and positive attitude allowed him to continue to train for and plan trips for his summer breaks whilst keeping up with a 45 hour a week university course! Despite the physical demands of his job and the time constraints of his course, Luca said that he enjoys what he does so much that he has “never found the job hard”. An Edge Hill University scholarship has proven to be just the start of his success.
Daniel Hamm, a member of the England PD (Physical Disability) Cricket Team, was awarded a Sports Scholarship in his first year at Edge Hill in 2013. Since then, Daniel has gone from strength to strength and played in cricket tournaments around the world. Now in his final year of his Physical Education and School Sport Degree, Daniel hopes to continue studying at Edge Hill for a PGCE. Here’s what he’s been up to…
“Since my previous tour towards the back end of my first year at Edge Hill in 2014, the time has flown by! Currently in my final year and having just submitted my PGCE application the time has truly gone too quick. I have been fortunate enough to not only go on tour again with England, but to become champions, as well as being fairly happy with the results I am gaining at university.
The tour in September 2015 was over in Bangladesh, just outside of Dhaka and the interesting country and culture added to the unforgettable experience I had. We participated in a five country tournament named the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) International Cricket Tournament for People with Physical Disabilities. The countries were ourselves (England), the hosts Bangladesh, followed by Pakistan, India and Afghanistan. It began after two flights consisting of about 15 hours. After stopping in Abu Dhabi, we continued on into the late night and were greeted by constantly soaring temperatures and 90% humidity, followed by rain, rain and more rain.
We began the tournament by losing against Bangladesh in front of a home crowd of a fair few hundred. We then went on to beat all of the remaining countries in the group stage to finish top of the group and to face our old enemies from the previous tour, Pakistan. This amazing experience ended with us winning the match and creating history by becoming the first team to win the whole tournament. The response from back in England was surreal. The media coverage was incredible and included tweets from various cricket players and other high profile people, as well as the opportunity to do a lap of honour around Old Trafford Cricket Ground, and playing in a Help for Heroes charity event at the KIA Oval in London.
An amazing summer concluded with my return to Edge Hill to get my head down to work hard for the grades I need for my PGCE in Secondary PE, as I am hoping to embark on a career in teaching. I’m sure the end of third year will come around a lot faster than expected and that I’ll soon be working towards a career I have always dreamt of and will enjoy.”
“Growing up with two brothers meant I often played different sports to my female friends and took an immediate interest in football. At the age of five, I would always have a ball at my feet, whether it was running through the garden, to being screamed at by my mum for ‘playing football in the house’.
When I started primary school, we had an assembly promoting a local community centre that had just opened. This caught my interest and I was there every day after school, playing football, netball, anything really that I could get my hands, or feet, on. I was even the first person to ever play football in the indoor arena at the community centre which for a young girl/aspiring female footballer, the feeling was amazing.
From there on, things got better and better, I got trials for Cardiff City Football Club and got accepted. Developing through school, I then applied for a Futsal and Education Scholarship at Cardiff City Football Club. Futsal is a great game. The small sized pitch, different size ball and the range of technical and tactical abilities required were really beneficial when going into regular 11-a-side football afterwards. I have continued playing futsal for Bristol City Futsal Club and in summer 2015 we won the Women’s Futsal FA Cup.
At the age of 18, I got my first call-up to the Welsh International set up. Just the call-up in itself is an extremely great honour but I’ve been lucky enough to represent my country four times in Hungary, Russia and in the U19’s UEFA Final Tournament which was hosted in Wales. Since starting university, I have played for Edge Hill’s women’s football team and have been playing for Blackburn Rovers Football Club.
A common question that I get asked is ‘how do you manage to fit it all in?’ but when you are playing a sport you love so much, and you’ve spent your whole life fitting it around everything else, it’s something you just do. Towards the end of my second year in university, I got a call-up to my first ever senior international camp. The prospect was daunting but something I will remember forever. The camp went well and gave me key areas to really push on and improve individually.
The financial support from the Sports Scholarship has and will help me develop in these areas identified at the senior international camp. Likewise, the scholarship has helped fund my travel costs. Moving away from home, where I’m no longer ten minutes from the training ground, means travelling quite a distance to training sessions. Unfortunately as the women’s game is yet to grow financially, this means at Blackburn Rovers we had no expenses covered.
I am thankful for the support of the scholarship. I honestly do believe, if you are good at something, let people know about it and apply. You should be proud and not hold back!”
Josh was awarded an Excellence Scholarship in recognition of his tremendous volunteering work, from coaching tennis to young children, to volunteering in a cancer information and support centre, and completing charity work for Camp Project Wales and Age UK.
While much of Josh’s voluntary work was undertaken completing Duke of Edinburgh awards, Josh also now has an Excellence Scholarship to add to his CV.
“I decided to volunteer as part of my Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award. As I really enjoyed sport, I decided to approach the school tennis coach to ask if I could assist him with extra curricular activities coaching primary school children. This role involved leading little warm-up games with small groups, setting up the equipment for the sessions and teaching key tennis skills such as the serve, a forehand stroke, backhand, volley, slice and smash. I thoroughly enjoyed working alongside a tennis coach to learn how to work with young children, as this is something I have considered as a career in the future. I enjoyed it so much that I continued with this volunteering for both my Bronze and Silver awards.
As I began my Gold Duke of Edinburgh award I decided to undertake a new challenge. As cancer had unfortunately touched our family, I decided to volunteer at the Macmillan Delamere Cancer Information and Support Centre. This centre receives very little funding and therefore relies heavily on volunteer support and fundraising events.
During my volunteer service at the Delamere Centre I was involved with a number of different tasks including interacting with patients and relatives whilst providing refreshments, producing posters and tickets for fundraising events, and creating spreadsheets to record charitable donations received. I was then asked by the Centre Manager to continue my voluntary work helping a personal trainer as part of a new cancer rehabilitation programme. This work required me to work on a one-to-one basis with the patients, providing support, stability and guidance whilst they took part in activities (which I’d also helped to set up).
The Gold Duke of Edinburgh award is very challenging, particularly as it involves a residential for which I volunteered at a local charity ‘Camp Project Wales’. This is a local charity that provides annual holidays for disadvantaged children; a fantastic cause. I attended monthly planning meetings, assisted with fundraising events and attended the 10-day camp itself. During the camp, I worked with a designated group of children supervising outdoor activities such as canoeing, rounders, football and swimming sessions. It was great seeing these children engaged and having fun!
After completing my GCSEs, I was keen to find part-time work over the summer holidays which was difficult due to a lack of experience. I therefore decided to volunteer at my local Age UK shop to gain some valuable work experience, as I believed this would show my commitment and dedication to a prospective employer. My duties included receiving donations, arranging displays and putting stock out, pressing clothing, assisting customers and working on the till.
It was all of these experiences that I included in my scholarship application. I never imagined the application would be successful as I knew it would be very competitive so I was overwhelmed when I found out. The scholarships has helped with me with my travel costs so I have been able to continue with my voluntary work.
I am now in my second year at Edge Hill University. I absolutely loved every minute of my first year and would love to do it all over again! I lived on campus for my first year and had a ball meeting loads of new people and making friends for life. It has been challenging at times as the course has been difficult, getting my head around referencing and meeting assignment deadlines. These have not been the only challenging things about University. I have had to learn how to budget my money and start looking after myself, doing my own washing and ironing. Before starting University I didn’t even know how to use a washing machine!”
It’s always nice to hear how each of our scholars reacts to the news that their application to receive a scholarship has been successful.
Sharing the news with Anna Heatley was particularly memorable when, by pure coincidence, she discovered that her achievements were being recognised on what was already a day of celebration!
Awarded an Excellence Scholarship in recognition of her dedication to creative arts, Anna talked to me about making the transition from being a performer to working behind the scenes on various productions which her commendable charity work has helped to bring to an audience.
Although Anna prefers being a stage manager or set designer to being part of a cast these days, I’m happy to throw the spotlight on her one more time as a deserving scholarship winner!
“It was my 23rd birthday, I was out celebrating, when I received a phone call from Edge Hill University informing me that I had been awarded an Excellence Scholarship in Creative Arts. I was in shock, I had never expected to be selected. It was great news, especially as a mature student I was nervous about embarking on a degree and so this news settled my nerves and gave me confidence.
Over the past 15 years I have joined 6 dramatic organisations, all charity funded, within my local community. It all started when I joined the Warrenpoint Pantomime Club, at the age of seven. Since then I’ve played various roles in numerous productions, both musicals and classic plays. However, as I progressed with my involvement with these organisations, I realised I wasn’t born to perform, I was destined to combine my other passions with theatre.
I completed a 3D Art course a couple of years ago that equipped me with the skills required to be involved with other aspects of the theatrical world such as make-up, lighting, sound, set design and construction. I have worked backstage on various productions including Godspell, Footloose, The Beauty Queen of Leenan, Rozencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, and Frankenstein. My efforts were recognised when working on these sets by receiving the following nominations:
Youngest Stage Manager in Newry and Mourne (Footloose 2012)
Youngest Set Designer (Godspell, 2011, Footloose 2012, The Yalta Game 2012, Rozencrantz and Guildenstern 2013 and Frankenstien 2014
As all of the societies I have been involved with relied on charitable funding, I have spent a great deal of time helping in fundraising schemes which enable the productions to go ahead. As I embark on my degree in BA (Hons) Theatre Design I hope to continue my involvement with both fundraising and with set design.”
I can safely say that Anna has stuck to her word as I have seen her at events around campus fundraising and campaigning for the ‘Coppafeel’ campaign, a worthwhile cause in getting females to check their breasts. If you are interested in finding out more about this charity, please visit coppafeel.org.
Less late December 1963 and more mid November 2015, but oh what a night it was at the recent Scholarship Awards Ceremony!
After weeks of organising the event, it was great to see everyone enjoying themselves and celebrating the success of our class of 2015.
This was our biggest Scholarship Awards Ceremony to date with more than 400 guests in attendance. Visitors included local dignitaries, representatives from local colleges, University staff and, most importantly, 136 scholars and prize winners – the people that the evening was really all about.
Seeing the excitement and anticipation among the scholars and prize winners as they arrived to register, with their proud family members and guests looking on, was a joy to behold.
Once seated in the theatre, we had a quick run through the evening with the scholars. I’m not sure who was more nervous – me or them! Once guests were seated, the buzz in the theatre was fantastic.
Lesley Munro, Clerk to the Governors, opened the ceremony and began to read out a profile of each scholar before presenting their awards. After hearing about the success of our first scholarship winner, I thought “Wow, Alex has had some great achievements with his photography”, then the second profile was read out and again I reflected “Wow, how has Darby achieved so much with her film making”! By the fifth student, I thought I was in a room with super heroes, they had all done some truly fantastic things!
Professor Tanya Bryon, the University’s Chancellor, handed the awards to the recipients on the red carpet and closed the ceremony with some very inspiring words. We were then treated to a fantastic buffet – definitely not food that I had prepared with my own fair hands! This was delicious and very enjoyable, I must say. I definitely need to add some cheese hedgehogs to my festive shopping list!
Photographer Stuart Rayner was on hand during the evening and took some fantastic photos that I’m sure our scholars and their families will cherish. You can browse through the photos on our Scholarship Awards Evening Gallery. Apologies in advance for any unintentional photobombing by myself in the background!
Returning to work the morning after the awards evening and opening my emails made my day! I received so many messages from scholarship winners saying how much they had enjoyed the evening and thanking me for arranging it. However, in all honesty I shouldn’t be the one receiving the thanks. It’s the scholars and prize winners who deserve the credit since without their hard work, dedication and talent we wouldn’t have the success to celebrate – so, from me to all of them, THANK YOU!
You can check out a small selection of the comments I received below.
“The number of people who excelled in their own area was amazing, the stories were nothing short of inspirational. I had heard that the awards ceremony was the best night of the year and I can now say that this was absolutely correct – it was amazing. It was such an amazing event – with a wonderful buffet afterwards!” – Danny Powis
“The red carpet was intimidating but didn’t half make the evening feel special! Thank you for a great night.” – Bethan Shields
“It was a very well organised evening and it made me feel very proud of what I have achieved. Chancellor Tanya Byron also spoke some amazing and inspiring words which gave it a nice added touch! A lovely and awesome evening! A special night that I’ll never forget!” – Jessica Cain
“What a wonderful awards evening. I was really proud of my daughter and her achievements. Thank you for recognising and celebrating this.” – Parent.
If you’re a prospective or current student reading this and think it could be you who’s treading the red carpet at next year’s Scholarship Awards Ceremony, then you can find out more about the University’s scholarships and check your eligibility using our Scholarships Calculator. Applications and nominations open early next year.