A RECORD number of Fife College students have welcomed a much-needed cash boost thanks to a prestigious scholarship awarded to them for their hard work and commitment and one of them is from Cowdenbeath.

In total, 108 students from the College have received Russell Trust Scholarships thanks to the Russell Trust and the College’s scholarship programme, the Adam Smith Foundation.

In light of the current coronavirus crisis, this year’s generous donation of £15,000 from the Russell Trust, was topped up to £20,000 by the Foundation, enabling many more students to benefit.

The awards, ranging from £50 to £500, will support students to buy equipment and resources to help them progress in their studies, giving them some much needed help and recognition in these difficult times.

Despite College campuses being closed, scholarship awards were still able to be made, not in person this year but online, and each student also received a certificate to mark their achievement.

One scholarship recipient, Charlene Slimming, from Cowdenbeath, plans to use her award to buy a new laptop to help her continue her course and also apply for university.

Charlene, who is studying an Advanced Certificate: Pathway to HNC/D and Degree course, said: “I am relieved and delighted to have been awarded a scholarship!

"A new laptop will be especially beneficial to continue communication with the College, complete my course and also the video interview required for university during this pandemic when options are limited.

“As a family of five we currently have no income due to lockdown and without this scholarship this would not have been possible. I am extremely grateful.”

The Russell Trust Scholarship, which has been supporting the College’s Adam Smith Foundation Scholarship programme since 1999, is part of a wide range of scholarships available to Fife College students each year which is one of the largest college scholarship programmes in Scotland.

Lyn Gold, Adam Smith Foundation Scholarship Co-ordinator, said: “We are delighted to have been able to award more students than ever before with a Russell Trust Scholarship, especially during these difficult times. For over 20 years The Russell Trust has been supporting our students and we are extremely grateful to them for their very generous continued support."

The Russell Trust was set up in the memory of Patrick Russell who died in action during World War II - through this the former Tullis Russell paper company, which was based in Glenrothes has supported a myriad of local charities and educational institutions.

Iona Russell, great niece of Patrick Russell, said: “It is a real honour to represent my family and the trust, which was set up by my great uncle to support young people in Scotland pursue their career goals.

“Congratulations to all of this year’s scholarship award winners. All 108 recipients have worked so hard and shown real dedication to their studies – well done everyone!”