THE DEAN of the Guildry of Brechin, J Stewart Hill, invites applications for the Guildry Travel Award 2013 which is open to young people in the Brechin area to facilitate travel for personal development.
“It is hoped that we will look at a number of applications from those wishing to be considered and make another award this year, the 22nd year since the inception of the Award,” said Mr Hill.
In 1991 Mr John Smart the then Dean of Guild, set up a fund with a view to encouraging and supporting foreign travel, study and training by local young people especially those who might otherwise find this impossible.
An award is made annually by the Dean, provided that there is a suitable candidate.
There have indeed been years when no award was made; but also years when we have made more than one award.
“The first recipient, in 1992, was Alexandra Hamper who used the Award to attend a course on the environment in Belgium,” explained Mr Hill.
“In the following year Zoe Wood spent six months as a Link student in India, then Julie Oag had six months in Romania teaching English to Romanian children.
“In subsequent years contributions were made towards projects in Indonesia, Kathmandu, South Africa, France, Canada, Australia, the United States and a music cultural exchange to Cuba.”
More recently in 2008 the Guildry helped Leah Farquhar to travel to Brigham Young University, Utah on a course of Music and Drama and in 2009 three girls, Lauren Cairney, Jodie McGregor and Kirsten Alexander, shared the award and each went to various parts of the third world on worthy endeavours including going to Thailand to teach English and climbing Mt Kilimanjaro in Northern Tanzania.
In 2010 and 2011 Paul Black and Georgia Edwards have been supported to travel to the USA – to study at University of California and to study Art in Chicago & New Hampshire prior to Art College respectively.
“In 2012 Imogen Sherrit, Megan Tait and Laura Whitwell submitted successful applications,” continued Mr Hill.
“Imogen and Megan to spend a year with a family in the USA and Laura to go to Sri Lanka to work in the office of a solicitor.
“Their reports have been followed by many and show the value of widened horizons which is the reason for the existence of the Award.”
While initially aimed at students in the ‘gap’ year between secondary and higher education, it was widened to include more senior students and is now envisaged that it should include those in vocational courses or apprenticeships.
Travel need not necessarily be to outside the UK.
“The main criteria for the award remain the Brechin connection to the student and the worthiness of the project that we choose to help,” Mr Hill added.
The Award, which is usually several hundred pounds, is under the stewardship of the Dean, who takes such advice as he considers appropriate.
Candidates who submit applications may be asked to attend for an informal interview and, if successful, are expected to furnish a short report to the Guildry after they have completed their project.
This enables The Guildry to know where the funds have been applied which helps The Guildry in developing the Award for future years.
Applications should be made in writing to Dr H. D. Greig, Pearsecroft, 8 Pearse St, Brechin, DD9 6JR by March 1.