This generous initiative by the Henry Smith Charity is aimed at providing essential assistance to apprentices residing within a specific catchment area in Durham.

As part of the collaboration with the Henry Smith Charity, New College Durham identified eligible apprentices and invited them to submit applications. The Board of Trustees reviewed and approved all seven applications, awarding each apprentice a £200 grant to aid them in acquiring the necessary tools and equipment for their apprenticeships.

The Mayor of Durham presented the apprentices with their certificates and cheques at a special presentation evening hosted by the college. 

Jamie Pearson, one of the grant recipients currently studying Level 2 Autocare, shared his appreciation, saying, "I can’t express my gratitude for this £200 voucher that will help me buy tools for the trade I have been studying at New College. It will help me immensely as I train for my future career. Thank you."

Ian Mackenzie from the Henry Smith Charity expressed their delight in supporting local apprentices, stating, "The Charity is thrilled to support local apprentices at the start of their careers in Durham City. These apprentices are part of a little bit of history because the Charity has supported young people in their new careers as long ago as the 17th century. We wish the apprentices every success in their chosen employment."

Sharon Bennett, Assistant Principal (Partnership and Skills) at New College Durham, expressed gratitude for the continued support from the Henry Smith Charity: "This is the 13th year Henry Smith Chairty has supported our apprenticeship. This collaboration has a tangible impact on the lives of our apprentices, providing them with the means to excel in their chosen trades. The £200 grants will undoubtedly contribute to the success and independence of our apprentices, helping them build the foundations for prosperous careers."

Matthew Pattison, another grant recipient also studying Level 2 Autocare, highlighted the significance of the grant, stating, "This £200 will help me in a way of giving me an opportunity as an apprentice. It will give me the chance to build my tool collection, allowing me to work independently without having to borrow tools. This will significantly improve my skills in the workshop."

The successful apprentices who will benefit from this grant are:

Daniel Jones – Level 2 Autocare - Browns Autoservices Ltd

Matthew Pattison - Level 2 Autocare - Vasstech Garage Services 

Jamie Pearson - Level 2 Autocare- S G Petch Ltd

Joseph Green – Level 2 Carpentry and Joinery - Equans Service Limited

Joe Hallwood - Level 2 Carpentry and Joinery - RE:GEN Group

Mehrshad Barzegar – Level 3 Dental Nurse - Wheatley Hill Dental Practice

Jessica Liddle-Hinde – Level 3 Healthcare Support Worker - County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust