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Freemasons £50,000 donation to help disadvantaged schoolchildren

Freemasons Philip Bullock and Derek Gibbens present the grant to Rosie Knowles Picture: DAVE COX

DISADVANTAGED students in Swindon have been given a major grant to improve their education.

Wiltshire Freemasons handed over a £50,000 cheque through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, to support the Villiers Park Educational Trust’s Scholars programme and give the youngsters better chances to succeed. The Trust is a national charity that develops programmes empowering students to improve their academic, employability and personal skills.

Philip Bullock, Provincial Grand Master and head of Wiltshire Freemasons said: “The best possible start in life is to get a good education. What we expect is that the money is used to help the organisation, which helps disadvantaged children to actually better themselves through education. We give them the opportunity to access top universities and transform their life chances.”

The Swindon Scholars Programme benefits bright students in Years 10-13 who suffer as a result of low household incomes. Students involved will receive regular meetings with their learning mentor to help them reach personal goals.

Rosie Knowles, deputy director of development at Villiers Park said the programme, which has been run in Swindon for eight years, has showed impressive outcomes as students achieved better grades at GCSE and A-levels

“By providing support that’s tailored to their specific strengths, as well as areas for development, we know they will be helped to understand their options and accomplish their best,” she told the Advertiser.

“It’s all about building central skills and helping them succeed. This is not just about passing exams.”

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