A partnership between Thirteen and Teesside University is supporting those who might not otherwise consider applying to University, to study for a degree.

This life-changing initiative supports Thirteen customers, and their dependents, with aspirations to study at university through the Thirteen Academy Scholarship. 

Since it launched in 2019, Thirteen has awarded twenty scholarships to its customers, including six this year, where successful students have been awarded a Thirteen Scholarship which covers the cost of their tuition fees.

A number of students have also joined Thirteen’s involved customer group, and third-year BA (Hons) Human Resource Management student Sarah Whittaker has even secured a job at Thirteen while studying.

Sarah, 34, from Stainton, says, “Teesside University and Thirteen have had such a positive impact on my life.

“The Academy has already offered so many opportunities to better my future career prospects. I’m so pleased to be working at Thirteen as part of the customer involvement team, which is fantastic in terms of experience and progression.”

She adds, “I really enjoy studying, and I love that my degree pathway means that I learn different elements of Business Management alongside the Human Resource management subjects.

“The new Student Life building offers fantastic support, and the Library is a great learning environment. Working and studying from home during the pandemic was challenging, but challenging times often produce growth and progression, and it’s great to be back on campus this year.

“Although I work in the customer involvement team, I’m also an involved customer, and it’s fantastic that I get the opportunity to help to shape, develop, and make a difference to how Thirteen delivers’ services.

“I am so pleased I took a chance and applied as this scholarship really has been a life changing opportunity for me.”

Sarah has been inspired by how people have adapted to new ways of working during the pandemic and has chosen to write about this subject for her degree dissertation.

Thirteen’s Senior Compliance Business Partner, Claire Prest, says, “Thirteen Academy is a fantastic opportunity for our customers. I’ve been working with the students since the scholarship started in 2019, and it’s so rewarding to see them all achieving their goals and aspirations.”

Joanne Bulmer, Stakeholder Development Coordinator at Teesside University, adds, “We are committed to supporting students from all walks of life to study with us and to reach their full potential – scholarships are such an important part of that offer.

“Working with Thirteen has been fantastic and it has been a privilege to see these scholars progress and thrive during their time with us.”

To find more about how our students are progressing over the year keep your eye on Thirteen’s website www.thirteengroup.co.uk.

Main pic – Seated from left to right students Sarah Whittaker, Emma Coatsworth, Lonney Phiri and Martyn Hodgson with Thirteen’s Claire Prest and Teesside University’s Joanne Bulmer, standing.