This week the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust announced the 19 young people it is awarding bursaries to, including 9 awards made to previous bursary holders, to support their journey to become qualified architects – the career Stephen Lawrence himself had hoped to pursue.
The bursary awards are targeted at talented young people from around the UK facing financial hardship who would otherwise struggle with the costs of the long journey to qualify. The bursaries help with the cost of study, including architecture field trips, model making equipment, laptop, printing costs, and living costs. And the money that recipients receive from the award can often be the deciding factor in whether they can complete their studies.
Bursary-holders not only benefit from financial support, but meet monthly with a mentor from one of the architecture practices that supports the Trust’s Building Futures programme. They also join a network of current bursary holders and alumni and enjoy other opportunities provided through the programme.
This year the bursary scheme has been significantly increased due to monies pledged by those who attended a fundraising dinner underwritten by the Royal Institute of British Architects, reflecting the RIBA and Trust’s commitment to increasing access and diversity within architecture.
In addition to submitting an application form with a personal statement, bursary award recipients gave a presentation to a panel including Stephen’s mother, Baroness Doreen Lawrence and selectedrepresentatives from architecture practices who work with the Trust.
Chief Executive of the Trust, Sonia Watson said ‘We are delighted to welcome so many talented young people onto our bursary scheme. We were incredibly impressed by the quality of the applicants and look forward to working with them and supporting them as they develop their careers.’
Remi Phillips-Hood, who is currently studying for his masters in Architecture at the University of Manchester said ‘This bursary represents the positivity Stephen’s legacy has left for all of us, and I am inspired to take the leaps in his honour.’
Asher Bourne, who has previously received support from the Trust and is now entering the final year of his masters said ‘Without the bursaries the trust have given me I would have had a more difficult university experience and a portfolio that would not reflect the true extent of my academic abilities but my financial hardship. The Trust’s Building Futures programme helped me secure an interview and part 1 placement at Foster + Partners and their networking events lead to a part time placement at PRP Architects which I was able to do whilst studying. My history along with that of the friends and peers I have met through the trust are evidence that trust isn’t just building able individuals for the architectural profession but a strong community that will help transform the built environment to reflect the true diversity of this country.’
The bursary programme runs annually and is open to anyone from a BAME background with a place to study architecture at a UK university. Applications open in March each year and are publicised on the Trust’s website.’