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New student hardship fund in memory of Lord Bilston


Lord Bilston student hardship fundLord Bilston was a campaigner for social inclusion and justice, and the new Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund has been named in his memory with kind agreement of his family.

The Fund was set up by the University following the withdrawal of the Access to Learning Fund by the Government, and will support students who find themselves in genuine financial hardship that might impact on their ability to continue on a course at the University. 

Lord Bilston was a good friend to the University and was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters in 2006 in recognition of his distinguished service to the people of Wolverhampton. 

Lord Bilston’s brother, Councillor Bert Turner, said: “The Fund is about everything Dennis believed in and worked hard for all his life, as a councillor, MP and in the Lords.

“We are over the moon that this is being named in his memory, and we couldn’t be happier that the University has thought of him in this way. This would have gone down very well with Dennis.”

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Geoff Layer, said: “Lord Bilston was a great supporter of the value of education and we are delighted to be launching the Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund in his memory.

“As the University of Opportunity, we are committed to enhancing the life chances of people from a broad range of backgrounds and supporting them on their learning journey. The aim of the Fund is to provide help to students who experience hardship which might prevent them continuing with their studies if support was not available.”

The priority groups to receive support from the Fund include students with children, disabled students, those from low income families or who have entered higher education from care.

The fund will be available from late October.


Photo caption: Launching the Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund are Councillor Bert Turner, Lord Bilston’s son Brendon Turner, Lord Bilston’s granddaughter Bella, Vice-Chancellor Professor Geoff Layer, Lady Bilston, Dean of Students Jon Elsmore and Lord Bilston’s daughter Jenny Mullins.

For more information please contact Vickie Warren in the Media Relations Office on
01902 322736.

Date Issued: Tuesday, 09 September 2014

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

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