YOUNG people struggling to afford to go to university can follow their career path with the help of a bursary from the Wiltshire Community Foundation.

The charity is offering bursaries through its One Degree More programme for each year of university to students under the age of 25, to help bridge the gap between the maximum student loan available and what families can afford to help support them.

Denis Twomey, who grew up in Salisbury, was able to fulfil his ambition of becoming a stage manager thanks to the One Degree More grant he received. He won a place at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School to study professional stage management but knew that without additional financial support he would not be able to take it up.

The former member of Stage 65 Youth Theatre at Salisbury Playhouse said: “This kind of world-class training meant that I was required to have all of the relevant tools (on top of traditional student living costs) and I would be unable to work to supplement my income; whilst my family were wholly supportive, they were not in a position to finance me, and Bristol isn’t the cheapest place to live.

“Growing up in a one-parent family naturally meant that resources were limited, and my father couldn’t bankroll me through my student years. The grant from Wiltshire Community Foundation enabled me to focus on my studies, hone my skills and become as well-rounded as I could be.”

After graduating he secured a place on a touring production of Mamma Mia! Denis said: “Put simply, the support Wiltshire Community Foundation gave me changed my life. I don’t quite know what I would have done had I not been able to follow my dream.”

The bursary is £1,600 for each academic year and goes towards essential living and course costs, travel, food and accommodation.

Students must have lived in Wiltshire for at least two years and be enrolled on an undergraduate course in the UK. They or their parents or guardians must receive at least two means-tested benefits or elements of Universal Credit. More information at or to receive an application pack contact the charity’s grants team at