Patricia Hughes Bursary receives generous donation from colleague

The family of St. Columb’s teacher, Patricia Hughes, who passed away in 2016, have thanked one of her former colleagues for an ‘extremely generous donation’ to support a Bursary Scheme set up in her memory.

Aodhan Foster (Helen’s son), Helen Foster (Bursary donor), Pádraig Delargy (Patricia’s nephew) and Mary Delargy (Patricia’s sister).
Aodhan Foster (Helen’s son), Helen Foster (Bursary donor), Pádraig Delargy (Patricia’s nephew) and Mary Delargy (Patricia’s sister).

Patricia’s sister, Mary Delargy, thanked Patricia’s former colleague, Helen Foster, for the donation.

“We want to thank Helen and the Foster family for this extremely generous donation. We are grateful for their ongoing support in memory of Patricia.

“This donation will make a significant difference to the Bursary over the next number of years, particularly as we haven’t been able to complete much of the fundraising we had planned due to COVID restrictions,” she said.

Helen recounted the deeply personal connection she had with Patricia.

“When I was diagnosed with cancer, Patricia was there for me. She always kept in touch. She was the first person to welcome me back to work with open arms and a big hug. That’s the type of person she was. I’m delighted to be able to do something to remember her and continue her legacy by supporting pupils from St. Columb’s to achieve their full potential,” said Helen.

The Bursary Scheme gives £4000 each year to a pupil leaving St. Columb’s to help them through their time at university. It pays for a student’s first year at university, and ensures that every applicant has an equal chance to receive a third level education based on merit, not financial background

It was set up in memory of the much missed former English teacher by her family, friends, colleagues and past pupils and launched on her second anniversary in 2018.

“We’ve seen the significant difference the Bursary makes to the lives of young men leaving St. Columb’s each year. £4000 makes a tangible difference and supports them throughout their time at university,” added Pádraig Delargy, Patricia’s nephew.

Two of the pupils who have benefitted from the Bursary recently took part in a video outlining how it helped them.

“It gave me the opportunity to work with such amazing people,” said Odhrán McGlinchey. “It takes the stress off the bills - if it wasn’t for the Bursary I don’t know what I would do.”

“My first thought is she always had a happy aura around her,” added Billy Quigley, the first recipient of the Bursary,

“That made her really approachable. There were a few times when I was struggling and I came to Miss Hughes and she was always willing to lend a hand.”