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Thrive Homes' Go For It Award grants help make tenants' dreams come true
An aspiring West End actor and a single mother who wants to become an HGV driver are among the winners of a competition to win cash to help them pursue their dreams.
The Go For It Award is funded by Thrive Homes which has paid £8,150 to four tenants this year.
Luke Meredith, 21, from Rickmansworth, was awarded £2,500 towards his £13,900 fees for a coveted place at the prestigious London School of Musical Theatre, in south London.
The Colchester Institute graduate, who lives with his mother Sarah, was one of hundreds of applicants for the course, which cannot be paid for through a student loan.
He has set his sights on raising £7,000 for the fees and is hoping that he can raise further funds through sponsorship. Any shortfall will have to be made up through a bank loan.
He said: "I really feel indebted to Thrive Homes.
"I’ve been involved with musical theatre since I was six-years-old and it is all I have ever wanted to do.
"The fees for the course are high but this is my dream and I am determined to succeed in West End theatre.
"The contribution from Thrive Homes really will help me achieve my ambition; I cannot thank them enough."
Of the 15 applications submitted were whittled down to nine who were interviewed by Thrive Homes’ Chief Executive Elspeth Mackenzie, board members Ellen Clarke and Selina White, and community partnerships manager Zulf Awan.
Another successful applicant, Alison Taylor, told the panel of judges, that she wanted to realise her ambition of becoming an HGV driver.
After what she describes as "a challenging few years" the 46-year-old former health care assistant, from Rickmansworth, was awarded a grant of £1,650 that will help to pay for training, examinations and licence that will enable the mother to get her HGV qualifications.
She said: "The grant from Thrive Homes will help to change my life for the better and I can hardly wait to undergo all the tests so that I can get my licence and get on the road as a driver "I couldn’t believe it when I was told my application was successful; it was totally unreal. I can’t thank them enough because it really will make a huge difference."
The other beneficiaries were nursing student Hayley Harrison, from Chorleywood, who was awarded £2,500, to help to pay for a master’s qualification she needs to become a specialist mental health nurse and Gemma Brown, 24, from Watford, who was awarded £1,500 to help her set up her own health and beauty business.
Ms Mackenzie said: "It was very difficult indeed to choose between the applicants because their supporting information was very strong indeed and they were all very impressive.
"But we congratulate all of the winning applicants because they demonstrated that they were very focused in their ambitions and showed exactly what they were doing to help themselves to achieve their goals.
"It’s heartening that Thrive Homes can help its residents in such a positive way and we are looking forward to seeing how each of the grant winners gets on in their future careers. We are thrilled to help them on their way to realising their dreams."
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