A DEAF Nepalese immigrant, who is now based in Blandford, has set up a fundraising page with hopes to exceed £15,500, to enable him to achieve his dream of getting a university degree.

Aayush Gurung is afflicted with profound deafness - he is unable to speak and relies on sign language to communicate.

The 22-year-old moved to the UK from his home country of Nepal in January 2016, at the age of 17, to improve his education.

After passing his A-Levels, Aayush was offered a place at Bournemouth University, studying Accounting and Finance.

But due to his immigration status, which is ‘limited leave to remain’, Aayush is unable to apply for student loans on Disabled Student Allowance. He also cannot apply for any loans from the UK government.

With both of his parents having low incomes and unable to support him, Aayush was unsure of his next step. This is when he came up with the idea of starting a GoFundMe page to help him further his educational ambitions.

In a video appeal launching his campaign, he signed: “I have set up a GoFundMe page to ask you all for donations so I am able to go to university and continue my education.

“I have no money and that has become a barrier when it comes to progressing with my education. It has been hard as self-promotion in public is not a natural thing for me, but my parents, uncle and teacher supported me and encouraged me to build my confidence.”

The original target amount for the fundraiser was £24,000 but thanks to a combination of grants courtesy of the Charity of William Williams and Blandford Rotary Club, alongside Bournemouth University giving Aayush ‘home’ fee status, the target has dropped to £15,650.

Since creating the page at the beginning of September, more than £1,700 has been raised so far.

Despite also being offered a place at Oxford Brookes University, Aayush has chosen to study at Bournemouth University as he can easily travel to and from the campus from Blandford and would not have to pay any accommodation or maintenance expenses.

He added: “I have faced many barriers throughout my life but I will never give up. Donations from the public will help me to achieve my dreams, all donations will be very much appreciated.”

For more information and to donate to Aayush’s cause, visit gf.me/u/ywgi8d