How we chose our Charity Apprentice Scholarships for 2016

We were thrilled this year to offer scholarships for two promising Charity Apprentices for the first time.

Offering two scholarships is one of the most exciting parts of recruiting for Charity Apprentice this year. With's commitment to fight for equal opportunities, we felt that using our Sofronie grant to offer just two scholarships was a powerful step to open up the course to be an option for more people. 

Each scholarship is worth £1250 and covers all course fees, including the cost of the four week placement in Kenya or Uganda. Those awarded a scholarship need only contribute the cost of their flights, insurance and vaccinations.

How we assessed the scholarship applications

But how would we find the right people to offer scholarships to? We were looking for two people who would lead the 2016 Charity Apprentices from the front, setting an example in their engagement with the challenges, their fundraising efforts for and their personal development over the year. We were not looking for experience, but potential - which is harder to spot!

So we drew up a list of criteria for the perfect Sofronie scholarship applicant. We wanted people who were self starters, motivational, critical thinkers and hard working. It was essential that the applicant should have a good understanding of the course and what they were signing up for.

There were two other questions we asked ourselves about all the applications we received. Firstly, we looked at what potential benefit we felt that applicant would get from doing the course. Secondly, it was important that the scholarship apprentices were representative of Did they represent our values of innovation, positivity, a certain curiosity and a dedication to wise decision making?

To help us assess all this, we asked applicants to the Sofronie Scholarship to submit a video, recommendation letter and short essay. They all received the application advice document on their application to be a Charity Apprentice. This extra application process for the scholarship was extremely helpful, given the extremely high quality of the applications we received. 

After interviewing our first 15 people, Anjali and I sat down to read and watch all the scholarship applications again. We scored them all against the criteria, and we found some that really stood out for us. We presented a shortlist to the rest of the team to discuss and were all in agreement. We had found our Scholarship Charity Apprentices.

The scholarships have been awarded to:

Evie Dickinson

After experience of volunteering in Malawi, Evie, 21, returned to live in the country for four months, building lasting relationships with the people of Namalaka, forming Community Highlight to fund projects in the area. As a trustee of Community Highlight, and their only UK based staff member, Evie was thrown into the world of fundraising and has lots of practical experience, but has not had the opportunity to hone these skills at a larger charity or work with experienced fundraisers. She wants the chance to try different areas of fundraising and other charity work to broaden her experience.

Evie has been waiting for the chance to apply for Charity Apprentice for some time and is passionate about making the most of the opportunity. She was very clear about what she wanted to gain from the experience: a wider knowledge of the world of International Development and a range of core fundraising skills. 

Evie said: "I can't wait to start working towards my ideal career and meeting like-minded people along the way. This is the sort of opportunity I've been wanting for years, I'm just so excited to get started"

Watch Evie's scholarship application video:


Abby Hart

Abby, 23, is from Southampton and found out about the course when she met 2015 Charity Apprentice Micky Chilman at a careers fair. Abby has spent her life so far trying to find a career choice somewhere between her interest in fashion and her passion for animal and human welfare and fair trade. Her degree in fashion and textiles convinced her that fashion was not for her, and she wanted to build more experiences so she began volunteering with the RSPCA. She signed up for some overseas volunteering schemes, but didn't quite know what to do next on her return. 

Abby has passion, drive and some really useful creative skills. But she wants to find out how to apply them in the charity sector. This makes her a fantastic candidate for Charity Apprentice, which will give her a wider view of the sector and a great channel for her creative energy. She has shown her ability to come up with a great fundraising idea and see it through. We can't wait to see what she achieves in 2016.

Abby said: "I am so happy to have chosen as a Charity Apprentice for 2016. I know the course will give me a well rounded insight into the charity sector, and teach us skills only gained through practical experiences. I have no doubt that I will graduate from the programme prepared for a career in charity or international development, with a load of brilliant memories and hopefully some inspiring new friends!"
Watch Abby's scholarship application video:


We have had so many strong applications for the course next year already. We have interviewed graduates, students, school leavers, new mums and people already working for charities. As people secure their places on the course, we are announcing them on the Facebook page, so you can meet more 2016 Charity Apprentices here.

We have now offered over half of the 50 places available on Charity Apprentice 2016. So if you'd like to join Evie, Abby and the rest for a life-changing 2016, apply online now.

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