Women in Professions’ bursary now open to women of all ages

| May 2, 2014 | 0 Comments

A BURSARY aimed at giving young women in Guernsey the chance to develop essential life skills is now being offered to women of all ages.

Women in Professions, which provides networking and support for professional women in the Bailiwick, launched its bursary scheme in 2011 and originally offered it to women between the age of 18 and 25.

‘We have decided to this year open it up to all women over 18 as we recognise that there are many women who may want to take some unpaid leave after completing qualifications, before accepting promotion or before getting married or having children,’ said Women in Professions president Marie McNeela.

‘The aim of the bursary is to offer a local woman a once in a lifetime opportunity to broaden their skills by working with a voluntary organisation. Within our own membership, there are some outstanding women with phenomenal experience and expertise but many of them have benefited from the experiences they have had outside the classroom or the office.

‘It’s these life skills which are essential at management or board level. We want to give a local woman the chance to experience something different and learn new skills which will hopefully prove invaluable in their career.’

The £1,500 will used for the cost of travel and living expenses during the placement which must be a minimum of four weeks, in any country and working with any organisation providing they are a registered charity.

‘The criteria is as broad as possible so that applicants can choose a charity which they have a personal affinity with. It’s an amazing opportunity and we hope that by opening it up to a much wider age range that we can offer more women the chance to do something they may not ordinarily be able to do,’ said Mrs McNeela.

Applicants need to complete an application form, which includes questions about why the charity has been chosen, what they hope to achieve and why they think they should be chosen. Applications will be considered by a panel comprising of Mrs McNeela, Women in Professions’ immediate past president Elaine Gray and
Magistrate Cherry McMillen who will shortlist three women for interview and then chose the successful applicant.

On her return, the successful applicant will be asked to share their experiences with Women in Professions members.

Previous winners have been Michelle Pearce who spent five weeks working with Forever Angels, a UK registered charity, which runs a home in Tanzania for orphaned and abandoned children up to the age of five years old and Jemma Burton who went to Sri Lanka with Guernsey charity Bridge2SriLanka. Last year’s winner was Lara Gallichan, 24, who spent six weeks working with Projects Abroad Pro : Qualified Volunteers in Action as a speech and language therapist in Fiji.

‘Having heard the previous winners share their experiences with Women in Professions, I have no doubt that the bursary achieves what we had hoped it would. All three winners have been passionate about their chosen charity and have benefited enormously from their time overseas. I have no doubt that they will draw on the lessons they have learned while volunteering for many years to come,’ said Advocate Gray.

Application forms and further information are available from the Careers Service website, www.careers.gg or from WIP president Marie McNeela by emailing marie@lancastertrustees.com The closing date for applications is Friday 6th June 2014.

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