Eddie Byers Scholarships launched: supporting communities through English language teaching
30 March 2017

The Eddie Byers Scholarships, in memory of the late chief executive of English UK, are now open to applicants from UK charities for the first time.

They will "enrich and support individuals and communities through English language teaching" through projects which meet a demonstrable need, have lasting effects, and create opportunities which would not otherwise have been available. The scheme also aims to further the involvement of the ELT sector in charitable projects, and to celebrate the life of Eddie, who died in November 2015.

The scholarship fund was established with donations from Eddie's family, friends and former colleagues; English UK members, and a Three Peaks Challenge charity walk by English UK staff and Board members.

Eddie's wife Sam, a member of the awarding committee, said: "Eddie saw much poverty and hardship in his travels, but he recognised the passion and ambition in the people he met: they focused on their drive to succeed and support their families. They had one thing in common: that learning English would set them on the road to education and ultimately success.

"Eddie loved and recognised that optimism as he always looked for the positives in life himself.

"Seeing this scholarship coming to fruition is incredible, and being able to offer this in his name is a truly wonderful thing. I am excited to be involved, and look forward to meeting some of the recipients as they continue their - and Eddie's - journey with English UK."

Sarah Cooper, chief executive of English UK, thanked everyone who had contributed to the scheme. "We are very proud of this scholarship, which honours both Eddie's passion for education and supports English UK's charitable mission to advance the education of international students in the English language. This was a project he had discussed many times, and it was very dear to his heart."

Up to £10,000 of funding will be made available annually, for an initial three years. Scholarships will be made at the discretion of the awarding committee, with a maximum value of £2,500.

Applicants must be registered UK charities whose aims align with the mission of the Eddie Byers Scholarships "to enrich and support individuals and communities through English language teaching". They must be able to deliver the proposed project and report back on its impact.

Proposed projects must meet several criteria. They have to use English language teaching to improve the prospects and opportunities open to an individual and their community. They must be impossible without the Scholarship's financial support, and must also be non-discriminatory.

To reach the shortlist, projects will demonstrate a significant positive impact and wider community engagement, will focus on English, and will reach those who do not otherwise have access to the funds required.

The closing date for this year's scholarship round is Wednesday 31 May.


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