Cliff with his laptop loan

Cliff with his laptop loan

With 66% of our sponsored students going on to university or college, this invariably presents new challenges.  A local student loan scheme exists where students can apply for a loan towards their course fees, accommodation and living costs.  As RRBF students have needed a scholarship to complete secondary school, they immediately qualify for this government-backed support for university or college.

Its not without its difficulty though.  Some RRBF students have not been eligible – for example, one was not yet 18 (the scheme is for over eighteen’s), while others have found that they were awarded a loan, but payment was delayed, meaning that they didn’t have funds in place when they went to register for their course.

In some cases, we have been able to step in and offer a loan of our own.  We don’t charge interest but do ask the students to sign a loan agreement, acknowledging that they will repay the loan at the end of their course.  This will allow us to re-cycle the funds for future students.

And of course, there are other costs.  With more and more work being done online, students are being asked to have a laptop for their studies.  This is a significant extra cost.

Through the support of the Turing Trust we have been able to purchase some refurbished second-hand laptops for the students most in need.  The Turing Trust ( was established by the family of Alan Turing to provide quality IT equipment and training to schools in sub-Saharan Africa.  They collect second-hand machines, which are refurbished, data cleaned and loaded with useful software.

So far we have provided ten laptops from the Turing Trust to our sponsored students and hope to extend this scheme when practical.  These cost us just £10 each plus postage.  Its another way that we’ve been able to help our students continue their education and make the most of their scholarship.