Scholarship recognises students' efforts to tackle climate change

28th January 2022

Fife College students have been awarded special scholarships for their efforts to help tackle climate change.

Awarded by Adam Smith Scholarships, part of Fife College, the Earlseat Wind Farm sponsored Climate Change Scholarship was launched in November to coincide with COP26.

Students were asked to submit an entry via an essay, piece of art, video, presentation or another medium, highlighting actions they are taking to combat climate change.

HNC Administration and Information Technology student Alison Major won the overall prize, receiving £250 and a new laptop for her essay about how she has adopted a greener lifestyle, as well as playing an active role helping address the challenges of climate change in her community.

Alison, from Kirkcaldy, said:

“I can't believe I won, this is a huge honour and I'm so grateful. My laptop is very old and getting this new one will make completing my coursework so much easier.”

Health and Social Care student Jenny Harris won a second-place prize of a new laptop for her essay, while several other students were awarded runners up prizes of £50 each. A Community Skills class also shared a prize of £250 for their joint submission.

Jenny, from Leven, said:

“I’m absolutely over the moon to win this scholarship. I'm on my second year of using a laptop from the college as I just couldn't afford my own, so this will make a huge difference for me.”

Earlseat Wind Farm is owned by The Renewables Infrastructure Group (TRIG), who acquired the project when it became operational in 2014. The scholarship was funded through TRIG’s Covid Relief Fund. TRIG are also current scholarship donors at the College, through Earlseat, providing funding to support modern apprentices and students with tech and placements to support their studies.

Located on the outskirts of Kirkcaldy, Earlseat is operated by RES, the world’s largest independent renewable energy company, active in onshore and offshore wind, solar, energy storage, transmission, and distribution.

Callum Whiteford, Community Relations Manager for Earlseat and Little Raith Wind Farms, said:

“Just a couple of months ago almost 200 countries came together in Glasgow and agreed at COP26 to take urgent action to tackle climate change at a global scale.

"Conversely, Alison’s fantastic essay cleverly shows how we can all make small changes to help us live greener lifestyles in our own local communities, which will be vital if our planet is to prosper into the future.”

Fife College Environmental Services Co-ordinator John Wincott, who helped to judge the shortlisted submissions, was so impressed with the entries he topped up the fund so that additional awards could be made.

John, who is also Chair of the Sustainable Scotland Network, and attended COP26, said:

“The work produced by our students was incredible, showing an insight into climate change that was truly inspiring. Many of the entries highlighted the importance of working together as a community to address some of the challenges of climate change - a message that is vital if we are to make progress.

“I intend to take these pieces of work and use them to illustrate to the broader community of colleges and universities, how people in further education are viewing climate change, the impacts on them, and their hopes and aspirations for the future."

Lyn Gold, Scholarship and Alumni Engagement Lead at Fife College, said:

"The introduction of our first Climate Change Scholarship was a great way to mark COP26 and get our students thinking and talking about climate change.

“The range and quality of entries we received was impressive and we were delighted to reward students for their work thanks to the generous support from Earlseat Wind Farm and Fife College.”

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