Welcome support for UHI North Highland’s cost of living fund

A cost-of-living initiative at UHI North Highland has recently welcomed a generous cash donation of £1000 from the Liam Colgan Music Fund to benefit music students in Alness.

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Curriculum Leader Peter Noble serves soup to Alness students

The initiative which provides free breakfasts, lunches and toiletry products was set up towards the end of 2022 to help students who may be struggling financially in the wake of the current cost of living crisis.

The Liam Colgan Music Fund was set up in memory of Liam Colgan in order to support young musicians and others in the Highlands and Islands. Liam studied music at both UHI North Highland in Alness and UHI Perth between 2008 and 2010.

Chairman of the Liam Colgan Music Fund, Iain Clark said, “Almost everyone is aware of the current cost of living crisis’ impact on so many families and individuals coping with enormous increases in the cost of food and basic living essentials.

We decided that supporting existing initiatives would be the quickest approach and contacted UHI with a proposal to directly support students attending music courses at UHI North Highland in Alness. Liam began his initial music studies in Alness before moving to Perth to complete his music degree.

The staff at UHI North Highland suggested that the most pressing need was to be able to offer breakfasts, soup and sandwiches, basic toiletries etc. to students in need of such essentials to ensure they get a decent start to their academic studies.”

The college’s cost of living initiative has also benefitted from various other donations, with contributions of £1950 from RWE Camster Wind Farm Community Fund, administered by Foundation Scotland; £1950 from Baillie Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund; and £1675 from National Lottery Community Fund. All of these donations will be used to continue supporting students in the college’s Thurso, Dornoch and Alness campuses who may find themselves struggling throughout the cost-of-living crisis.

Principal of UHI North Highland, Debbie Murray, said, “It really is a challenging time for our students as many have to make some very hard decisions on what is affordable due to the increased cost of living.  We really appreciate the support of all funders, and the donations go a long way to ensuring our students continued health and wellbeing as they work towards completing their qualifications.” 

UHI North Highland’s student engagement team have a dedicated website with money-saving advice and useful signposting to other community groups and projects looking to redistribute excess food.