What is the Unlocking Success Bursary Scheme?

The Unlocking Success Bursary Scheme, funded through the Northern Housing Consortium Charitable Trust, will award bursaries of £500 to help tenants develop learning and skills to support future employment.

In 2024, to mark the Northern Housing Consortium’s 50th year, we have extended the scheme to make 50 awards. These will be split between the standard £500 cash awards, plus additional mini 50th year awards which will be for specific requested items, such as a laptop or bus pass, up to the value of £400.

There are a range of resources available in the Unlocking Success comms pack which members can download to tell colleagues and residents about the bursary.

Our aim is to work together with our members to support and complement work to increase tenant access to learning and skills development.

Further details about the bursary scheme

The bursaries offered through the Unlocking Success Bursary Scheme are open to all individuals who are social tenants* aged 16 or over, whose landlord is a member of the Northern Housing Consortium. *Applicants are not required to be named on the tenancy agreement and could be family of the named tenant so long as they are living at the same property. (The Northern Housing Consortium is a membership organisation supporting social housing providers across the North whose members include most social landlords and local authorities across the North West, Yorkshire and Humber, and North East, as well as many social landlords and local authorities nationally who access our Consortium Procurement solutions.)

The Bursary would be complementary to the learning and skills development work already conducted by many Northern Housing Consortium members. As there are a limited number of grants available, we want to ensure that the fund provides support to those who need it the most so we’d ask that our member landlords help with the first round of screening in terms of the referrals made.

Priority should be given to students who meet one of the four criteria below. This reflects that students in these groups may need a greater level of support to enable them to continue to participate. The defined vulnerable groups are students who are:

  • in care,
  • care leavers,
  • receiving Income Support, or Universal Credit because they are financially supporting themselves or someone who is dependent on them and living with them such as a child or partner,
  • receiving Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments in their own right, as well as Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit in their own right

Students already on apprenticeship programmes, or any waged training, are deemed to be supported through their employment, rather than in self-funded education and they are not eligible for this grant.

The application process

Applications should be completed by a relevant member of the landlord’s team on behalf of the tenant wishing to apply. In order to make the bursary scheme as accessible as possible, we have tried to make the application as simple as possible to complete.  There are two parts to the application:

  • a short application to be filled in by a member of staff at the social landlord covering basic verification, contact details and data protection,
  • a short ‘pitch’ from the tenant which can be provided either in writing or by video where they can tell us in their own words how the bursary could make a difference to them. (Some further pointers about what to include are detailed in the ‘Tenant Pitch’ section below.)

1)  Complete the short Application Details section within the application form with help from the applying tenant; this must be completed in full. (Applications must be submitted by 5pm on Friday 5th July.)

2)  Request from the tenant their written or video pitch as outlined in the Tenant Pitch section within the form and attach it to the application. 

3)  Submit the application 

Please refer to the Terms and Conditions before submitting the application and please contact bursary@northern-consortium.org.uk if you have any further questions.

Notification of award

Once you have submitted your form you will receive notification from the NHC that your application has been successfully received by our team. We will also verify with you that the application is from you, as the tenant’s representative at the landlord, and is authentic.

A panel comprising selected Northern Housing Consortium (NHC) Board members, NHC staff and selected bursary scheme donors or corporate sponsors will review the applications received, and you will be notified of successful or unsuccessful award of the grant.  We will make payment to successful applicants shortly after.

We love to hear how our successful applicants are getting on with their studies.  This really helps us to promote the scheme more widely and gain sponsorship to be able to support even more students access training and skills development through our scheme in the future.

If successful, please be aware that we will require applicants or their landlord representative to submit another short video clip (which can be created using a smartphone) or short statement to demonstrate how they have benefitted from the bursary that we may use in our future promotion and fundraising for the scheme. All the scheme’s funding comes from donations or fundraising events so these clips significantly help us to ensure we can continue to support tenants in the future.

Application form

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