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University of Hull awards LGBTQ+ scholarships

Scholarships to support the LGBTQ+ community have been awarded by the University of Hull.

The Jeremy Round Scholarship, named in memory of the University alumnus, cookery writer and journalist, provides 11 recipients with £1,000.

First-year student Theo Biddle, who is studying British Politics and Legislative Studies, said:
“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity the scholarship will give me. I will be able to go on my placement in Westminster as part of my course in a few years with a lot less fear of money problems.”

Theo felt motivated to take advantage of the scholarship to try to set an example for other aspiring LGBT+ young people who are keen to succeed, to achieve their full potential regardless of how their lives started.

Theo said: “These scholarships are very important to make sure that regardless of the disadvantages people face in early life because of either our financial situations or just trying to live as our authentic selves, we have a chance to improve society and representation of marginalised communities across all parts of society.

“LGBT+ students can often face many unique challenges getting to university in the first place and the support the scholarship gives can be an enormous helping hand.”

The scholarship is believed to be the first of its kind offered to the LGBTQ+ community at undergraduate study level in the UK.

To be eligible, students were required to identify as LGBTQ+ and either have a household income of under £25,000, or a disability.

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Jeremy Round in the late 1970s

The scholarships are supported, and part-funded, by Jeremy Round’s former partner, Jeremy Trevathan.

Recipients will also have the opportunity to meet with LGBTQ+ alumni from the University of Hull, including Mr Jeremy Trevathan of major publishing company Pan Macmillan.

The two Jeremys – who became affectively known during their time at the University as ‘Jeremy Squared’ – met while studying at Hull.

Mr Trevathan who encountered significant challenges as a gay student living in the 1970s himself, was inspired to help the University launch the Jeremy Round Scholarship as a result of his own experiences.

He said: “I wanted to support this scholarship because of a period I experienced when I found myself alone, unable to talk with my family as I hadn’t come out to them, and was rejected by the new friends I thought I’d made at the beginning of my adult life.

“It was a tough time for me, but I found my way through. There are many types of isolation that all undergraduates can experience.

“I wanted to set something up specifically for LGBTQ+ students who may have particular experiences and who may need some financial support in particular.”

Members of the LGBTQ+ community can face a variety of barriers when accessing higher education.

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Jeremy Trevathan, University of Hull alumnus, has supported the new scholarships

“I wanted to set something up specifically for LGBTQ+ students who may have particular experiences and who may need some financial support in particular.” Mr Jeremy Trevathan, Pan Macmillan.

The new scholarships can be used to support students with accommodation costs, living expenses, books and other educational equipment.

Jeremy Round was a talented food writer, who rose to prominence when he became Food Editor at The Independent.

He was highly regarded by the whole food community, from suppliers and home cooks to chefs and cookery writers, and was awarded the highest accolade at the time for food writing, the overall Glenfiddich Award in 1989, just a few months before he died unexpectedly of a brain haemorrhage.

“I would like Jeremy to be remembered for being fearless about how he lived his life,” Mr Trevathan said.

“He was unashamed of his sexuality, his issues with mental health, and his size. Indeed, he revelled in it all, as he did in life in general.

“He had so many other things that he thought were more important and that defined who he was more than his sexuality and he reached out and grabbed life by the horns. I think that’s a great role model for students today.”

Professor Becky Huxley-Binns, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education at the University of Hull, said: “Going to university is an incredibly exciting time for students, but it can also be a time when members of the LGBTQ+ community feel vulnerable.

“At the University, we work incredibly hard to make sure all students feel comfortable and settled when they arrive with us at Hull. University is a place where people develop an identity, meet new people and express themselves through both their study and social life.

“We hope these scholarships help to remove some of the barriers facing people accessing higher education, and build on the University’s commitment to equality and inclusivity.”

Theo said: “Being successful in my application, particularly with how many people applied for the scholarship, is something I'm very proud of.”

Third-year student Ben Wright, who is studying Marine Biology, has also been awarded the scholarship and shares thoughts on how it will have an impact:

"Scholarships do really make a difference." Ben Wright, Third-year student

“I was delighted to be awarded the scholarship as things can be difficult being a mature student – especially with the rising living costs.

“I never thought growing up that I would be able to study for a degree.

“It is an honour to receive the scholarship.

“As well as being a gay man, that served in the Royal Navy, I’m also severely dyslexic. Serving as a submariner with their support I learned that being dyslexic didn’t mean I was stupid – like I felt at school.

“I have learned a great deal while at university about both myself and the subject I study. I have a huge passion for the marine world and for scuba diving. I’m very grateful for the scholarship the funds will help aid my learning.

“I would like to do a masters in marine conservation as I would like to make a small but positive difference to the world. However, the way things are – I’m not sure I will be able to fund it.

“Scholarships – funded through the generosity of other people – do really make a difference both financially and mentally.

“It shows that you’re doing the right thing and that someone cares enough to give back. One day with a bit of luck I will be able to do the same.”

Special thanks to Jeremy Trevathan and the other donors who have funded the Jeremy Round scholarship. If you would like to discuss helping to support these scholarships, please contact the Development and Alumni Relations Office: Jonathan.greenwood@hull.ac.uk 

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