Exmouth Community College lends its support to new charity

THE PRINCIPAL of Exmouth Community College has welcomed the arrival of a charity which provides financial and mentoring support to students who wish to undertake further education. Called The Magnolia Incentive, the charity held a champagne reception at t

THE PRINCIPAL of Exmouth Community College has welcomed the arrival of a charity which provides financial and mentoring support to students who wish to undertake further education.

Called The Magnolia Incentive, the charity held a champagne reception at the college last Monday, March 9, to mark its official launch.

Its conception arrived through the endeavours of Mandy Parker, chair of trustees, and Martin Gill, a trustee and co-founder who, as a former community college student, wanted to put something back into the school.

The Magnolia Incentive provides both financial and pastoral assistance to Exmouth Community College pupils as they pursue higher educational studies.


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It aims to address any monetary difficulties by providing grants of up to �5000 as well as pastoral guidance through a network of individuals who form the charity's mentor panel.

College principal, Tony Alexander, said: "I think it is a visionary, energetic and generous scheme.

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"In the 40 years I have been in a school environment, I have never come across such an incentive in the state sector.

"I am hoping that the many people who go onto find jobs and succeed in life will at some point plough some money back into the initiative."

Around 26 students have already benefited from The Magnolia Incentive which was formed in 2004.

Mr Alexander added: "Some of them who have succeeded in gaining this bursary have told me had they not gained it, they may not have been able to afford to go to university."

The Magnolia Incentive is based at Exmouth Community College. Mandy Parker, chair of trustees for the charity, said it aimed to help at least four students each year.

She said there were also a number of special awards available, one of which would be named in honour of Exmouth's former town crier, Garth Gibson, who died last year.

"I have got more and more passionate about it and want to expand the charity and help more children benefit from the scheme," she explained.

Jamie Gates is one of the people who has benefited from the Magnolia Incentive. The 23-year-old graduated from Cardiff University last year.

He said: "The money was fantastic but it was more about the mentoring which I really appreciated."

Lucy Hughes, 20, is in the final year of a degree at Bristol University and has also benefited from the charity.

Speaking about the mentors who are available to talk with, she said: "It is great to be able to call people when you need them. I cannot say how invaluable the wisdom that they pass onto you is.

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