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CAMRE Bursary - Fiona Hughes

Camre is a bursary fund which has been established through a partnership with North Wales Police, CAIS, Social Firms Wales and the DPWG - www.camrebursary.co.uk

What is a bursary?

A bursary is a grant provided to support access to a learning/educational opportunity. Looking into the future, we hope that the bursary will evolve into a foundation for learning for recovering substance misusers and/or offenders.

What specifically is Camre aiming to achieve?

Well, the purpose of the fund is to provide some additional support for service users who, as part of their recovery, want to access some form of educational, training or personal development opportunity. You see, we’ve identified that there can be barriers getting in the way of people wanting to get into learning and we want to try and break these down.

Such as?

Well, the obvious one is money. Although most of the courses and training have mainstream funding available for things like fees, there are lots of hidden costs which cause barriers. For example, exam fees, books, materials and equipment such as computers. And talking of computers, there can also be expectations about people having internet access which not everyone can easily afford.

Anything else?

Yes, there is. Such as really practical stuff like travel costs and maybe even something to do with accommodation. Some courses may require “top ups”. Someone may need some extra tuition or support to stick with a course. So we’ve got a very flexible view on need.

Are you only interested in people looking at mainstream education and training?

No, definitely not. We recognise that learning and personal development can be pursued in many forms, and that’s when you can find it really difficult to get hold of resources to assist. So for example, someone might have an interest in, say, music or an outdoor/sporting activity which it’s just not possible to get support for without some record of achievement or basic qualifications that might only be available through private/independent sector providers.

In those situations, we see the bursary as having the capability to open doors to these experiences. Again, either through meeting all or some of the costs of fees or providing some other form of practical support.

We’re even prepared to consider proposals which are very person-centred. You know, someone may have some sort of developmental journey that we may want to consider any ideas about if we can see real value in them.

How do I go about making an application?

The first step is to speak to your caseworker or someone else that you’re in contact with from any of the agencies you’re engaged with. They will have information packs which will provide more detail on the criteria/conditions for applications, and the application form itself.

Are there any restrictions about when you can apply?

No, we will accept applications at any time in the year. The panel that will make decisions about grants will meet every month. It’s important, however, that you plan ahead. If there is an opportunity that you’re interested in on the horizon then you really need to make sure that you apply for support in plenty of time to make sure that you don’t miss the chance to get everything sorted out. And just with reference to the panel, you may be interested to know that there will be service user representation.

And is there any limit on funding?

No. But it needs to be reasonable and sensible. Annually we will probably be working to a ceiling on total grants awarded, and we need to try and ensure that we support a good number of people. So we just urge you not to be too ambitious in looking at what we might help you with. Think of others too. You might also find it helpful to know that we are open to receiving more than one application from an individual in a 12-month period. But if a second application is made we will want to see evidence of achievement linked to any earlier grant and would want to know that this further application is going to help in building on that.

Anything else?

Don’t think so, no. Apart from wanting to wish you well with your application if you do make one, and the plans that you have for this. Good luck with your learning journey.

CAMRE

Contact

Phone: 0845 06 121 12

Email: enquiries@cais.org.uk