BY CALUM FRASER
Four students have been given bursaries to help fund their studies.
The Lewisham youths were presented with the annual New Cross Award, set up in memory of the 14 young people who died in the New Cross fire of 1981, to help fund their studies at Goldsmiths University.
James Fox, studying for a BA in history, Neda Khalili, studying for a BA in popular music, Christine Samuels, studying for a BSc in psychology, and Niquella Simpson-West, studying for a BA in politics, all received £5,000 towards the costs of their three-year undergraduate courses.
Lewisham Mayor Sir Steve Bullock, who established the award in 2006, said: “This scheme is about remembering one of the things that was lost as a result of the tragedy – the potential of 14 young people.
“These awards allow these four young people to achieve their potential, and that is a positive way to make sure the memories of the New Cross fire victims live on.”
Mr Fox has used his experience of digital product development and marketing to tackle the lack of
diversity within the industry. He has given up his own time to run school workshops across London aimed at improving digital skills and raising aspirations among the younger generation.
Ms Khalili, born and raised in Lewisham, is a singer and musician who leads singing and dancing classes for children aged 10 to 14 across the borough, aimed at enhancing community cohesion.
Ms Samuels has a track record of voluntary work ranging from supporting the dyslexia unit at her school, to organising outreach projects and concerts at her church.
“More recently she has worked with the elderly community transporting people to and from appointments and offering emotional support.
Ms Simpson-West founded the ‘City Safe Haven’ programme, which brought together local businesses to ensure young people had safe places to go whenever they were in trouble. She has also volunteered with local charities in the rehabilitation of young and adult offenders.
Mark d’Inverno, pro warden international at Goldsmiths, said: “We are delighted to award these
bursaries to James, Neda, Christine and Niquella, all of whom are richly deserving of them. I feel a huge sense of pride that this initiative, founded in memory of those who lost their lives 37 years ago, allows us to support four gifted young people from our community. I wish them all the very best.”
The ceremony took place in Catford’s civic suite on Wednesday of last week.