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Abigail Chetham awarded 2022 Millennium Bursary

Knutsford Town Council has awarded its 2022 Millennium Bursary to Liberal Arts student Abigail Chetham, who is studying at Durham University.

Abigail, who attended Knutsford Academy, is in her second year of the programme and is passionate about ancient near-eastern civilisations and religions; with plans to complete an excavation in Egypt over the summer. As well as excelling in her academic studies, Abigail has an array of different talents and interests, including Performing Arts, Dance, Music and Aerial Arts. Abigail is also an active member of her local Methodist Church and has a passion for volunteer work. Pre-covid, she took a volunteering trip to Kenya where she supported local communities in housing, education, and environmental projects.

Abigail intends to use the £565 bursary to support her travels to various museums and exhibits, to expand her research through purchasing a range of new literature, and to support her trip to Egypt this summer.

Abigail said, “I’m really excited to be able to take part in this excavation, which without the bursary would have certainly been less financially viable. The trip will not only help me for my dissertation and studies in general but will also provide me with real-world skills which will help me when it comes to trying to get a job later in life. The excavation is taking place at the ancient city of Sais, modern Sa el-Hagar, which was the capital of 26th Dynasty Egypt and is around halfway between modern Cairo and Alexandria, in the Nile Delta. The excavation is organised by the Egypt Exploration Society as well as Durham University, and I was chosen to take part by one of my professors. The bursary will be funding my travel expenses, as well as accommodation and sustenance for while I’m out there, for which I’m so grateful.”

Picture of Abigail Chetham
Abigail Chetham

The annual Millennium Bursary is awarded in partnership with the Knutsford Lions and supports a Knutsford student in their second year of University with the aim of supporting their final year project/dissertation.

The Knutsford Lions also gave a runner-up prize of £200 to Hope Philpott, who is studying History at the University of Oxford. Hope is an aspiring journalist and has written extensively for the Oxford student newspaper ‘Cherwell’, as well as being a Pembroke College Oxford Access Ambassador; where she helps young people from underrepresented backgrounds apply to Oxford.

Hope is planning on staying in Oxford over the summer to utilise the Bodleian and Weston library archives to aid her study.

Hope said, “I will absolutely use the money wisely and I’m greatly looking forward to staying in Oxford over the summer. I will continue to be an ambassador for diverse applications to Oxford and I’m still hoping to go into journalism!”

Students currently in their first year of university should look out for the 2023 Millennium Bursary opening for applications in the Autumn.

The bursary was awarded following an interview with the Town Mayor Cllr Stewart Gardiner and Knutsford Lions’ Lydia Kennedy.

Speaking of the award Lydia said “It was wonderful to speak with all the applicants this year, each of them bringing their own talents and plans for the future to the discussions. They would all have made great winners. We know that Abigail will bring her fantastic outlook with her for her planned excavation internship as well as in all her future studies as this year’s bursary student. The Lions were also delighted to be able to award a runners up prize to Hope to use for her ongoing research at Oxford. We wish them all the best of luck for their next year at university.”

A sculpture of King Canute in the council office gardens, with a tree

Students – apply for the Millennium Bursary

Second year university students from Knutsford are encouraged to apply for the Millennium Bursary from Knutsford Town Council.

Since 2000 the Town Council and Knutsford Lions have offered a £500 bursary to a second-year student from Knutsford to assist with their final year studies. The Knutsford Lions often also provide further smaller awards to runner-up students.

The bursary is open to all second-year university students whose term-time address is in Knutsford or Toft. To apply, students simply need to complete a short form giving a background to their studies and how the bursary will help them achieve more at university.

The deadline for applications is 21st December. The application form can be completed online at: www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/services/millennium-bursary

All applicants will be invited to an interview in early January with the Town Mayor and Knutsford Lions who will seek to better understand how the bursary can help students’ studies.