The University of Manchester

£1.5 million donation from Simon Sadler allows for creation of new grant for young people leaving care

A generous £1.5m donation from British businessman and University of Manchester alumnus Simon Sadler has allowed the University to establish a new bursary for students leaving care.

Simon, who hails from Blackpool and was the first in his family to attend university, is the Chief Investment Officer of Segantii Capital Management. He also owns and chairs Blackpool FC, having acquired a 96% stake in 2019. Blackpool, known for its high number of children in local authority care, will particularly benefit from the Sadler Bursary.

The bursary will provide £10,000 annually for 36 undergraduate care-leaver students over the next three years. This financial support aims to give these students stability during their studies, helping them secure accommodation and focus on their education without financial worries. Additionally, the donation includes support for students from low-income backgrounds.

Simon expressed his gratitude for having the bursaries named after him, highlighting the importance of helping young people who have faced challenges in their lives. He hopes this initiative will inspire others to pursue their dreams of attending university.

Simon and his wife Gillian are also backing Cancer Research UK’s campaign, ‘More Research, Less Cancer’, with a donation to the CRUK National Cancer Biomarker Centre in Manchester. The Biomarker Centre, housed in the CRUK Manchester Institute, is a collaboration between the University of Manchester, CRUK, and the Christie NHS Foundation Trust.

The University’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, thanked Simon for his significant contribution towards supporting students leaving care. She emphasised the university’s commitment to creating an inclusive and accessible academic environment for all students, regardless of their background.

The University offers tailored support for care leavers and estranged students, including various financial packages and accommodation grants. Named contacts help these students navigate university services, provide career guidance, and connect them with other students who have similar experiences.

Care experienced and estranged students are also offered paid work opportunities as Student Ambassadors, allowing them to gain valuable skills and serve as role models for other students in similar situations.

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