Bursary in memory of much loved Derry teacher

Late St. Columb's College teacher Patricia Hughes
Late St. Columb's College teacher Patricia Hughes

A new bursary scheme to help students from less well off backgrounds going to university, is being set up in memory of renowned Derry English teacher, Patricia Hughes.

The bursary fundraising drive was launched last Friday on the second anniversary of the St. Columb’s College teacher’s sudden death.

Tributes poured in the days that followed Patricia Hughes’ passing, with many friends, colleagues and past pupils describing her as a gifted and inspirational teacher .

Her nephew, Pádraig Delargy, who has set up a Justgiving.com fundraising appeal, told the ‘Journal’ yesterday that the bursary will be open to St. Columb’s pupils beginning university this year and who receive the full Education Maintenance Allowance.

The bursary will pay for their first year at university, and ensure that every applicant has an equal chance to receive third level education based on merit, not financial background - something, Pádraig said, which was very close to his aunt’s heart.

“My aunt was Head of Key Stage 3 (Year 8 and Year 9) since 2007 , and the way she was, if somebody hadn’t got as much, she would have gone out of her way and given out of her own pocket.

“It was her second anniversary on Friday and this scheme is simply saying that people from families on less income have as much right as anybody else to get to university. We thought that was the most fitting thing to do, and what Patricia would have wanted.”

And the response so far has been brilliant, Pádraig said, with many people donating and leaving tributes to the “amazing” person she was.

As of yesterday, £2,750 had been raised and it is hoped additional monies raised over the coming weeks through fundraising events and the Justgiving Page, can be also be put towards future bursaries.

“We are not just looking to run this for a few years, we want this bursary to continue into the future,” Pádraig added.

In a direct message on the Justgiving Page Pádraig paid tribute to his aunt’s legacy, stating: “ Patricia, our pride in your work continues. The pride you instilled in your pupils continues. We hope that through this bursary, we can make you proud of our work to carry on your vision.”

To donate towards the bursary, go to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/patriciahughesbursary