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Project Trust University Success

11th April 2014 Date of publication

Educational charity Project Trust is celebrating a landmark success, as for the first time one of its volunteers has been accepted into university on the strength of an application using their new One Awards (formerly OCN North East Region) accredited programme.

This year’s cohort of volunteers is the first to receive a One Awards Level Three Foundation Year in Global Volunteering and Citizenship for completing the Project Trust voluntary programme.

Bethany Crook (pictured below), who is volunteering as a primary teacher in Uganda, has been accepted to study International Relations and Global Development at Aberdeen University. Bethany has been applying to universities whilst she is overseas and used her One Awards accredited programme and experiences as a volunteer as the basis for her application forms.

Bethany said: “My experiences in Uganda came into every aspect of my university application form. The key inspiration to apply for my degree came from my year with Project Trust, so it took up a lot of the personal statement and I think the most important thing was that I was applying for a degree that I had had a first-hand insight into.”

“Anyone applying for an international relations course can write about how they were inspired by historical events or things they’ve read about, but as a Project Trust volunteer I could write about how I’ve sat in a house in Uganda while my friends have worried about the effects of losing aid in their country over a law they had no say in passing. “

“Of course the One Awards accredited programme which comes with completing the Project Trust programme shows that you're serious about the work you're undertaking and you’re embarking on a project with a purpose. My year volunteering has given me clarification on who I am and what I want to do. If I hadn't taken the year I'm absolutely certain that I would still have no idea where I was going.”

Before she went to Uganda to volunteer with Project Trust, Bethany wasn’t sure what she wanted to study at university, or what career path she wanted to follow. But she says her year volunteering inspired her to apply for the International Relations and Global Development degree.

Bethany said: “The idea that I could be happy working in any old job in the future disappeared as soon as I got a first look at the Watoto Childcare Ministries in Uganda. I knew that whatever I was doing it would have to be meaningful and that if I wanted to do it properly I would have to get a degree in a particular field to help.”

Heloise Allan, Project Trust’s Educational Development Officer, said: “This is a real milestone for Project Trust during our first year of the One Awards accredited programme. We are immensely proud of the work our volunteers do during their long-term placements overseas but it is fantastic that prestigious universities are also formally recognising the hard work that goes into achieving a Foundation Year in Global Volunteering and Citizenship. The fact that Aberdeen University has offered Beth a conditional offer dependent on her One Awards accredited programme demonstrates its value and worth.”

Jennifer Royston, Senior Desk Officer at Project Trust, who is responsible for coordinating volunteers in Uganda, said: “Bethany has persevered to prove herself as a reliable and enthusiastic volunteer who has embraced the culture and language of Uganda, conversing at an almost fluent level in Lugandan. I’m incredibly proud to think that her year abroad has moulded her future career direction.”

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