Land Rover and The Prince’s Countryside Fund today announced the winners of their 2014 rural bursary.
In its second year, the Land Rover Bursary serves to award innovative projects helping to revitalise and preserve British countryside communities and rural traditions.
The successful candidates were chosen due to their unerring community spirit and desire to make a long-term, positive difference to the community around them. In total five successful candidates were chosen, each receiving a year’s loan of a Land Rover as part of the Bursary.
The announcement was made at Eastnor Castle in Ledbury, Herefordshire, Land Rover’s spiritual home where all vehicles are tested for their off-road capability. The winners attended the event to familiarise themselves with the Freelander 2, pushing the Land Rover to the limit on some of the 43 miles of off-road track that the estate offers. In particular, the bursary winners were taught off-road driving techniques and shown how to use the vehicle’s towing technology.
During the day Tom Hartley, one of the 2013 bursary beneficiaries, gave a speech to the winners detailing the way the Freelander has helped his project, B4RN, over the past year. The vehicle has allowed Tom to benefit over 1,000 households by installing superfast broadband in areas which traditional suppliers won’t reach.
The full list of 2014 winners is as follows:
Tim Sidaway - Garden Farm LIFE – Matlock, Derbyshire: A social enterprise that works with disadvantaged groups and uses the farm and rural environment to help improve clients' well-being and opportunities. Working with a range of agencies and social services, vulnerable members of the community are given the opportunity to take part in a carefully structured programme of farm-related activities as part of their care, rehabilitation, therapeutic or educational programmes.
Rachael Heatley - Urban Farm – Blackburn, Lancashire: This mobile farm based in the North West visits schools to educate children about food and farming and the importance of the countryside in addition to visiting individuals in residential homes and care centres, who are unable to get out into the countryside.
Mark Cawardine - Severn Area Rescue Association (SARA) – Chepstow, Monmouthshire: A voluntary flood rescue, in-shore lifeboat, land search and mountain rescue organisation providing a range of services to the rural communities of South Wales and Gloucestershire.
Paul Harrison - Bell View – Belford, Northumberland: A Northumberland based charity which works on a 120 square mile radius to transports care workers to provide home care and delivers fresh meals and prescriptions to the vulnerable elderly who are based in isolated or dispersed hamlets and villages - meaning they can continue to live independently.
John Fisher – PETROC – Barnstaple, Devon: One of the South West's leading Further Education and Higher Education colleges with campuses in Barnstable and Tiverton. PETROC provide 16+ education, vocational courses and apprenticeships through the South West. The Freelander 2 will transport students and equipment to isolated moorland and coastal areas for research projects and work experience. Improved safety and access means better learning opportunities for the students and valid data for curriculum development, as well as physical improvements to paths, boundaries and woodland in Exmoor National Park and stronger educational/business partnerships. It is expected that 142 students and 6 rural business will benefit
Laura Schwab, Jaguar Land Rover UK Marketing Director, said: “Building on the success of the first year, where five recipients of the inaugural bursary made a tangible difference to communities across the country, we are delighted to find a further five truly worthy projects which will no doubt benefit and grow with the provision of a Freelander 2. Land Rover is truly synonymous with the countryside and we are looking forward to seeing the benefit that our vehicles can bring once again this year, and to seeing the development and growth of the supported projects.”
Helen Aldis, Manager of The Prince’s Countryside Fund, explains; “In the past year, with Land Rover’s support, we have witnessed first-hand the positive impact that the use of this vehicle can have not only on the lives of the beneficiaries, but the local rural communities involved. There are so many fantastic and worthwhile countryside initiatives that exist to support local rural communities, and it’s an honour that with the support of Land Rover, The Prince’s Countryside Fund is able to recognise and further award five people with dependable and reliable transport to continue their valuable work.”
Land Rover announced a three-year partnership with The Prince’s Countryside Fund in January 2013. The partnership involves supporting rural communities and offers help to people living in the countryside dedicated to building a sustainable future in these locations.