Crerar Hotels bursary makes university study possible for two lucky students

By Press Office

Two Queen Margaret University (QMU) students have been awarded bursaries which will help them stay on course to achieve their career goals in the hospitality industry.

Frances Paterson and Hannah Mackay have been selected to receive The Crerar Hotels Hospitality Bursary. The financial award is available for prospective students who have been accepted onto the BA (Hons) International Hospitality and Tourism Management degree at QMU and have the ability and potential to benefit from higher education, irrespective of their background or economic circumstances.

Edinburgh-born Frances left school at 16, admitting that she had little interest in the subjects she was studying, instead keen to enter into the world of hospitality and catering. Working at a contract catering company, her interest in the area grew but she was disheartened when she saw colleagues rising through the ranks, and felt that her lack of formal education was holding her back. With family support, she undertook an HND in Hospitality Management before progressing to QMU and the BA International Hospitality and Tourism Management course.

Returning to education hasn’t been without its challenges for Frances, however. The contract her husband – the main breadwinner – was working on came to an end, and with three children to provide for, Frances was under pressure to continue her studies while making ends meet. This award will go a long way in ensuring Frances can complete her education at QMU without the added financial burdens weighing heavily on her and her family.

Frances said: “The Crerar Hotels Hospitality Bursary was a great relief to myself and my family as it meant I could continue on my studies at Queen Margaret University. Being from a low income family, I was stuck between studying and going back to work full-time, however this bursary has given me the opportunity to concentrate on my studies and not worry about loss of income. I am extremely grateful for the help from Crerar Hotels.”

For Hannah Mackay, being granted the Crerar Hotels Hospitality Bursary will mean she will finally be able to travel abroad for the first time to explore new cultures. From a single-parent family in Edinburgh, Hannah unfortunately never had the luxury of going away on holiday growing up. Her mum suffers from Fibromyalgia and often Hannah provides care for her, from cooking and cleaning to helping her get dressed. Unable to work due to her condition, the family have had tough financial times, and at one point were living in temporary accommodation.

Hannah’s passion for hospitality and tourism grew out of her experiences on a college course, and she decided this was the career she wanted to pursue. Thanks to the financial support this bursary will provide, Hannah will be able to reduce the hours she spends working to pay the bills, and can devote more time to her studies. It will also allow her to pay for a passport to travel abroad to explore other countries.

Hannah said: “As a child of a single parent, and the first in my family to go to university, this bursary means a great deal to me. It has benefited me greatly by reducing the financial strain of further education from my mother and allowed me a degree of financial independence I would not otherwise have.”

Paddy Crerar CBE, Chairman, of The Crerar Trust and Chief Executive of Crerar Hotels said: “We are delighted to have made this award to Queen Margaret University and look forward to hearing how this funding helps impact their students’ work.

“Crerar Hotels is committed to giving back to the local community as well as to the hospitality industry, to help it grow and thrive, and provide opportunities that may otherwise seem out of reach. For every stay with us our customers are supporting others who really need it. It’s great for our staff in the hotels to see their hard work and efforts helping people in their own communities too.”


Notes to Editor

For further media information please contact Karen Keith (Media Relations and Content Officer) at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, E: T: 0131 474 0000.

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