It has been said before that art isn’t a result, it’s a journey. For Will Hughes, a 26-year-old artist and maker, the journey through art has already taken them to incredible places; professionally, emotionally and physically.
Now, through the help of an interest-free education loan courtesy of The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, Will, from Market Overton in Rutland, is continuing his journey on all fronts. With the funding received from the charity, Will is studying for his Masters in Fine Art at Northumbria University.
“My sculptural practice talks about queer themes and the body through experiences,” explains Will, who completed his undergraduate degree at Bath Spa University before enjoying a year-long studio fellowship at Spike Island in Bristol.
“I decided that now was the right time to study for my Masters in Fine Art. I wish to expand my cultural knowledge on, and around, the subject of identity politics. In doing so, I want to continue to make physical work and explore where my practice is moving to.”
Experience of an industry can allow an individual to develop a deep understanding of their sector – with that knowledge potentially representing a vital tool when embarking into business.
Take the example of Kieran Lake, who after being involved in the security industry nationally for over 12 years, made the snap decision whilst on holiday to put his wide range of skills to better use and set up his own security company, Octagon Facilities Management.
There, he was determined to employ his depth of knowledge to forge a real name for himself and his business.
When Keilly Shirra’s daughter was born in 2003, it opened up more than a new chapter in her life as a mother. It was to unknowingly kick-start the prelude to a chapter, which would see Keilly become her own boss and establish her growing business, Mad About Nature, which makes luxurious all-natural handmade soaps.
Keilly’s daughter was born with eczema and fuelled a passion to start using natural skincare products which she knew would be free from harsh chemicals and unnecessary synthetic ingredients which dry-out and damage skin. On a trip to London’s Covent Garden, Keilly discovered a homemade soap stall which would change her life.
This week is a hugely exciting one for Sir Thomas White Loan Charity borrower and lingerie designer, Posie Upshall.
Following a two-year project, Posie is set to unveil her first three collections of luxury lingerie at an event taking place at Leicester’s Brick & Beam on Friday 11 October; the culmination of two-years’ hard work.
An added factor is Posie’s approach to design; the brand aims to be as environmentally sustainable as possible, whilst the 25-year-old designer has worked to ensure that her items have a localised element to them too.
Sam Cattell is breathing fresh life into the world of mortgage advice.
Moving away from the traditional, formal connotations that you’d normally associate with mortgages, Sam’s business ‘Mindful Mortgages’ aims to do exactly what the name suggests: provide personal, helpful mortgage advice, mindful of the fact that mortgages go far beyond simply buying a house.
Speaking to the Sir Thomas White Loan Charity borrower, you immediately understand why she does what she does. Having worked as an advisor and director for a mortgage broker in Leicester for 13 years, specialising in mortgages, Sam felt overwhelming satisfaction helping people, families even, achieve their goals. However, dismayed at the market and the way that mortgage advice was provided on the high street, Sam wanted to take that enthusiasm and passion, and provide tailored mortgage advice in a different way.
You often hear incredible stories about how one parallel pathway in life perfectly sets people up for a completely different one. Sir Thomas White Loan Charity business loan borrower Natasha Dulay is a perfect example.
Always creative, Natasha would often spend her spare time putting her creativity in motion. However, away from that, she dedicated her education to developing her studies in business, at one point potentially entering the field of accountancy. That wasn’t to be, as Natasha soon realised, through her passion for jewellery initially, that her desire was to create unique products and showcase them to a target market.
That developed further to crafting unique handbags and clutch bags – and Styles of Soki was born.
What Natasha didn’t realise at the time was that everything she was doing away from being creative was preparing her to turn her creativity into a career.
For many business owners, their venture is more than a job. It’s a manifestation of enthusiasm and passion, and the result of hard work, commitment and desire. That’s certainly the case for Sir Thomas White Loan Charity business loan borrower, Emma-Mae Parry.
Emma will be a familiar face to those that enjoy a stroll through the independent shops on Queens Road in Leicester’s Clarendon Park. Emma owns The Bloom Project, a florist with a difference. It’s a gorgeous shop set in the perfect location. However, as Emma explains, it’s something that has been many years in the making.
Barrie Stephen, one of Leicestershire’s most renowned business owners, has become the first-ever patron of The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity.
Now based at Friars Mill in Leicester city centre, the charity provided Barrie with one of its interest-free business loans 23 years ago to help him establish his first salon, which became the platform for continued growth, as Barrie Stephen Hair established itself as a household name across the county.
Today the owner of five salons across Leicestershire, in addition to Barrie Stephen Hair’s dual-brand, B-Styled, Barrie Stephen’s success in the business world, in addition to the hair and beauty industry, has been well-documented over the years. The Leicester native is now recognised as one of the leading hair designers in the country and been the recipient of a plethora of business and industry accolades, including Leicestershire Businessman of the Year. The salon group has also been named Best UK Local Salon on two occasions for its work within the community.
As soon as he graduated from the University of Warwick, Yusuf Docrat knew he wanted to continue his studies.
Completing an undergraduate degree in chemical biology, 33-year-old Yusuf, from Leicester, took on his first role within the food industry, working within a quality control laboratory. However, after circumstances saw professional development come to a halt, Yusuf took the opportunity to return to his studies – getting in touch with The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity to aid the financial implications of enrolling on a postgraduate course.
Continued study and the subsequent qualifications obtained as a result can be crucial in achieving a career goal, which is why The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity is incredibly proud to help young people across Leicestershire on their way to accomplishing those goals.
Jordan Cope is a wonderful example of somebody working within their dream job, thanks in part to the qualification he was able to obtain courtesy of one of the Charity’s interest-free education loans. These loans, which are now available to the value of £10,000, ensure that borrowers are able to gain vital funding so as to study anywhere in the world.
27-year-old Jordan, originally from Coalville but now based in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, knew from an early stage of his studies that he wanted to go into teaching.