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Students receiving Pentland offshore wind scholarships are praised as 'fantastic leaders'


By Alan Hendry

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Eilidh Coll (left), from Foundation Scotland, and Anders Galsgaard, of Copenhagen Offshore Partners, with bursary recipient Heather McKay.
Eilidh Coll (left), from Foundation Scotland, and Anders Galsgaard, of Copenhagen Offshore Partners, with bursary recipient Heather McKay.

The first three high school leavers to benefit from the Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm Education and Training Fund have been praised for their academic prowess and for being "fantastic leaders" in their communities.

Scholarships were awarded to Farr High School's Heather McKay and Thurso High School duo Fern Mackay and Rachel May at a ceremony in Farr High on Thursday.

The new fund, administered through the independent grant-making charity Foundation Scotland, will run for four years and provide a total of £16,000 to support local students with their future studies. It will demonstrate a commitment to promoting and supporting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers in the region.

Each of the three students received £1000 to support them as they go on to study STEM subjects at university.

Heather has accepted an unconditional offer to study BEng Mechanical Engineering at the University of Glasgow. During her time in school, Heather held the positions of head pupil, pupil council representative and prefect, and recently completed the Young STEM Leader Programme where she led sessions teaching primary school pupils about STEM subjects and local opportunities.

From left: Anders Galsgaard of Copenhagen Offshore Partners, bursary recipients Fern Mackay and Rachel May, and Eilidh Coll of Foundation Scotland.
From left: Anders Galsgaard of Copenhagen Offshore Partners, bursary recipients Fern Mackay and Rachel May, and Eilidh Coll of Foundation Scotland.

Fern has accepted an unconditional offer to study Master of Physiotherapy at Edinburgh's Queen Margaret University. Fern was previously a member of Girlguiding, completed her bronze Duke of Edinburgh award and took part in Rock Challenge, an anti-drug and crime-prevention initiative in which her school placed in the top three for Scotland.

Rachel has received a conditional offer to study Accountancy and Finance at the University of Glasgow. At school, Rachel was a prefect and a maths ambassador, supporting an S1 maths class every week, as well as excelling in netball, swimming and Highland dancing.

Anders Galsgaard, senior director at Copenhagen Offshore Partners and engineering, procurement and construction director for the Pentland project, presented the awards.

The wind farm's project director Richard Copeland said: “We’re delighted to be able to support young people in the area as they progress their studies and kick-start their careers in STEM-related industries. Supporting the younger generation to advance their studies will ensure Scotland’s future STEM skills needs are addressed.

“The students who have been awarded the scholarships have demonstrated both excellent academic prowess and have also been fantastic leaders in their community. We are excited to support them on their academic journey.”

Farr High's head teacher Katherine Van Voornveld said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been selected to receive a scholarship from the Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm Education and Training Fund.

"A large number of our students are interested in STEM subjects and this reward and incentive will further enhance this, whilst encouraging our young people to pursue a future within the renewables sector.

"It was fantastic that Mr Galsgaard was able to travel all the way from Copenhagen to present the scholarship and we’d like to thank him and his team for the effort they made to visit our school.”

Details of the wind farm can be found on the new Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm website or email pentland-stakeholder@cop.dk for more information.


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