Questors helped by the Potential Trust

(all names have been changed) 

Darren was always pulling things to pieces; plugs, toys, even computers.  He seemed to be fascinated with the way things were put together and nobody seemed to be able to stop him.  At her wit’s end, his mum found Tech Camp, a hand’s on camp which helps the designers, coders and makers of tomorrow with their passion today.

Darren really wanted to go to this camp but as a child from a low-income family and with four other brothers and sisters, his family couldn’t afford to send him, but with a Questor bursary from The Potential Trust they could.

The Potential Trust funded the gap between what others provided and what was needed which enabled Darren to go on a one-week Tech Camp in the Summer.  As a result, Darren found a new passion – coding – and some new friends with whom he could talk tech.  Result, one happier child and one happier parent who no longer has to mend the equipment in the house!

Sadie was always a loner.  She had few friends at primary school and her secondary school classmates thought she was odd and bullied her for being a geek.  Her anxious parents wanted to find somewhere she could ‘fit in’ or some activity she could do where she made friends.

Her mum’s friend recommended looking at the GIFT website – GIFT has been supporting the brightest and most curious young minds for 40 years by running run residential weekends, workshop days and Easter and Summer Schools for secondary age children.  These are relaxed, informal opportunities to explore unusual subjects in depth, meet like-minded peers and form lasting friendships.

Sadie’s parents weren’t aware that she was particularly bright, and Sadie was a bit reticent to go at first.  However, when she read about the kind of activities that were going on – philosophy, history with a twist, science and art all with a difference, and a variety of other things – she became much more enthusiastic.

The only problem was that her parents just could not afford all funding needed but with a Questor bursary from The Potential Trust they could.

Sadie had a great time.  She felt it was brilliant that she could go somewhere that where she could enjoy learning about unusual things without being judged or with the pressure of exams.  Just as important she even found that, far being odd or on her own, she just fitted right in and could talk about things that interested her without anyone making fun of her.

As a result of that weekend she got some new online friends who she still contacts.  This actually made school a lot easier; and the next time someone called her a geek she just smiled and said I know!

Ever since he was a young child, David loved music.  He opened the music cupboard when he was looking round nursery and started playing with the instruments, and from then on he was hooked.

Whatever he seemed to pick up he could play: recorder, violin, guitar, drums.  The school lent him a violin to start lessons as soon as he could and he soon waltzed through his grades.  His teacher identified that he needed more challenge and identified the National Youth Music Camps as somewhere that would stretch and challenge him.

This family got together as much money as they could and the school agreed to support him through Pupil Premium but they did not have enough money to send him to the camp. They just couldn’t afford to send him, but with a Questor bursary from The Potential Trust they could.

The school let him take the violin he had borrowed.  He met with lots of like-minded children and young people who loved music.  Not only did they teach him a lot over the course of the week but he could play music which really stretched his abilities and helped him to see what he could do.

Some of the friends he made were at specialist music schools and encouraged him to think about it. The summer school had opened his mind to what he could do and he is now seriously thinking about whether he should apply.

All this was possible through the belief of his parents, the support from the school and a small Questor bursary from The Potential Trust.

Olivia really enjoyed the science and maths she had done at school and wanted to learn more than her primary school offered.

She was then given a leaflet from her teacher about the Royal Institution’s Summer Courses which were designed to bring to life all areas of science, maths, computing and engineering in hands-on workshops.

She desperately wanted to go but her dad could not afford to pay for the ones she wanted to attend. She couldn’t go but, with a Questor bursary from The Potential Trust, she could.

With this funding her dad could book a series of workshops, enabling her to explore complicated maths problems, physics, chemistry and biology and even did some hands-on engineering.

She had a great time in the summer and returned to school enthused about her learning which she has been passing on to the class. She is now working with her teacher to help her set up a regular science club for others interested in exploration.

Who knows where this passion will lead her one day…

Alex was unhappy at school and her parents felt that she was struggling. As a low-income family, even with support by the charity, they couldn’t afford to get her assessed by Potential Plus UK (the national charity which supports children and young people with High Learning Potential and their families to find out what was going on.

With Questor funding from The Potential Trust they could.

Potential Plus UK found that, far from struggling at school, Alex was actually not being challenged effectively and needed a different sort of support at school.

Armed with that knowledge and an action plan provided by Potential Plus UK for her teachers, the school was able to implement the right support at the right level and the right time.  Not only Alex’s work improve to the level it should but his anxiety reduced and he was much happier both at school and at home; with increased self-confidence in his own abilities.