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New Clerkenwell pub owner overwhelmed by scholarship applications

More than 300 people have applied for a new scholarship scheme

24 November, 2017 — By Joe Cooper

David Lonsdale who is giving out scholarships and opening a new pub

A BARRISTER who has launched a scholarship scheme to celebrate the reopening of a Clerkenwell pub has been “overwhelmed” with the number of applications, writes Joe Cooper.

The flood of applications comes after a series of advertisements in the Tribune. David Lonsdale will reopen the Sekforde Arms on December 15 with a special party.

The pub closed in 2015, before Mr Lonsdale, who lives around the corner, bought it. He decided to create a scholarship scheme, in memory
of his grandmother, to help out struggling students. Five grants of £10,000 each are available to those living or studying in the borough. So far, more than 300 young people have applied.

“There is no one who has applied who we would not want to grant to if we had themoney. Just deciding who to interview has been a very tough task,” Mr Lonsdale said.

“Islington has some very bright people who often have limited resources. It is a tough time for students at the moment.
The selection criteria are based on academic or other excellence, financial need and the commitment and ability to improve the environment and/or create a more just society.

Trustees of the charity set up to administer the grant are currently poring over applications and will interview early next month.

The winners will be invited to the pub launch party next month. Applications have closed.

Mr Lonsdale’s grandmother, the eminent scientist Kathleen Lonsdale, was from a poor Irish family but was awarded a scholarship to university in London when she was 16.

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