The North East STEM Foundation (NESF) has raised more than £60,000 to support the region’s young people into STEM education.
Hosted at South Durham University Technical College (UTC) on Aycliffe Business Park, the NESF’s glittering fundraising dinner brought together supporters for a night of recognition and acknowledgement of the foundation’s mission to remove the financial barriers, which prevent young people in the North East from pursuing education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Among the 160 guests in attendance were an array of North East business stalwarts including Plastic Furniture Company, Teescraft Engineering Group, Dyer Engineering, North Tees, Steel Benders UK and Business Durham.
The money raised will assist the NESF to inspire young people throughout the North East to pursue careers in STEM through various outreach programmes, as well as engaging employers across the region to become involved and showcase career opportunities.
A proportion of the funds raised, £20,000, will be used to fund travel expenses for students to attend South Durham UTC.
Speakers at the event included alumni from the college – Will Chalkly, Oliver Hildreth and Finlay Brown.
The trio of former students took to the stage to share their experiences of the modern facilities, and how they have subsequently launched their own business, Thread Solutions.
The NESF’s mission is to ensure that every young person, regardless of their background, can access high-quality STEM education in a modern environment supported by employers.
It seeks to future-proof both local industries and the economy by producing highly skilled and innovative workers.
This is achieved through outreach programmes, eliminating financial barriers to STEM education, and creating high-quality STEM-focused learning environments at key educational stages.
Tania Cooper, chair of the NESF, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the dinner proved to be a success with an incredible turnout.
“Not only did we raise awareness of our Foundation and STEM possibilities, but we have also ensured that we can continue to enable young people across our region to access STEM education by removing the barriers that often stand in the way.
“It was also a great opportunity to bring together businesses to hear directly from young people who are benefiting from STEM and UTC education, while being able to support our ambitions to create opportunities in education, not only for our young people, but also their prospective employers.
“We would like to say a huge thank you to the supporters of our mission for their continuing support.”