This month, Liveryman Mike Lee attended the Arkwright Scholarship Awards Ceremony, his report is below:
As representative of the Needlemakers at this awards ceremony, I attended the function in IET and had time to meet with our scholar, Paddy Deegan and his parents before the ceremony and had a long chat with them. Paddy is a very confident person at the age of 16 and was most appreciative of the scholarship that he has been awarded. He certainly has a leaning towards engineering and has set his goals on somewhere like Imperial College for future education although he is enjoying the "hands-on” education that he is already getting at the Aston University academy. Although he has only just started, he is enjoying only going to the Academy Tuesday ~ Friday as Monday is reserved for his work experience.
He is the middle of three children with an older brother and a younger sister. His parents while not being in Engineering fields, both have engineering connections in their family background. Rather interestingly, he has an aunt who lives in Redditch and has visited the Forge Mill Needle Museum.
He obviously had done his homework because during the pre-awards chat session, he admitted he had done some research on the WCN and openly admitted that he couldn’t easily relate from that to the connections with the Needlemaking industry although he was aware of Redditch and Studley’s history of needle manufacture and fishing tackle (as well as Springs, light engineering and the Royal Enfield cycle heritage!)
I have asked him to stay in contact with the Needlemakers and have stressed that we are very keen to monitor his progress over the next few years and his A Level results.
The Arkwright Trust this year had record numbers: 1958 applicants who sat the Arkwright Aptitude test, 651 progressed to the interview stage and 425 scholarship being awarded across 3 awards ceremonies. Paddy is the first person from his previous school to be awarded such an award.