Sir Tom's legacy boost for two students

Two Sunderland students with a passion for education have been given a major boost from alegacy left by a champion of the North East.

By Tom Patterson
Monday, 1st March 2021, 10:20 am
Sir Tom Cowie scholarship students Lucy Almond (left) and Heather Bowman Picture: DAVID WOOD
Sir Tom Cowie scholarship students Lucy Almond (left) and Heather Bowman Picture: DAVID WOOD

Primary Education students Heather Bowman, 26, and Lucy Almond, 21 – and both in the final year of their studies at the University of Sunderland – have won this year’s Sir Tom Cowie Excellence Scholarship Award, each receiving £10,000 to support them in their final year.

Heather, from Roker, Sunderland, studied at Monkwearmouth School and, before receiving the award had been running fitness classes to help support herself while juggling her studies – a situation which became impossible when the pandemic struck.

She said: “I worked every single night teaching fitness classes as well as a part time Saturday job.

“Winning the Tom Cowie scholarship made an absolutely unbelievable difference. The scholarship allowed me to have a much better balance, which will in

turn, hopefully, allow me to achieve even more.

“I’m now looking forward to being a teacher. I don’t want to run before I can walk but I would love to be a headteacher in a school in Sunderland, one day.”

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Lucy, from High Barnes, Sunderland, studied at Thornhill secondary school before coming to University and the scholarship has helped her realise her

dream of teaching children with special needs.

She said: “After I graduate, I hope to get a job teaching children with social, emotional and mental health needs.

“Winning the scholarship enabled me to reduce my part time working hours, so now I can focus solely on my degree.”

Both Lucy and Heather are studying Primary Education at the University of Sunderland’s Faculty of Education and Society, and will graduate this summer.

The award was set up in memory of the Wearside-born entrepreneur who died in 2012, aged 89.

Sir Tom was a long-term supporter of the university and believed passionately in affording those with talent, regardless of background, the opportunity to enter higher education.

David Gray, FRICS, chairman of trustees of The Sir Tom Cowie Charitable Trust, said: “I’m delighted that this year’s recipients, Heather Bowman and Lucy Almond, are both involved in education.”