A £30,000 donation will be used to support children and young people living in disadvantaged areas of Bradford, providing them with further educational support and other opportunities.
Unite Students, the UK’s largest provider of student accommodation, has made the donation to The Manjit Wolstenholme Fund, in memory of their former senior independent non-executive director and board member.
The Manjit Wolstenholme Fund, which was set up by PFG and managed by GiveBradford and Leeds Community Foundation, offers grants of up to £10,000 to community organisations across Bradford who are looking to support young people in deprived areas.
The donation honours Manjit’s strong belief that no one should be denied the chance to achieve their full potential as a result of their background, or where they live.
Manjit, who was born in India and educated in Wolverhampton, became the youngest woman to head an investment bank in London -at the age of 37 -and went on to become the first woman from an ethnic minority background to chair an FTSE 100 company. She served on the Unite Students board from 2011 to 2017 as a senior independent non-executive director.
Activity is focused on young people up to the age of 21, their parents, carers, family members and other key influencers. Initiatives focus on a number of areas, including building confidence, resilience and addressing low educational attainment.
Bradford is ranked the fifth most income-deprived local authority in England, with a quarter of children living below the poverty line.
It is also, however, the youngest city in the UK – 23 per cent of the population are aged under 16, and the 11th largest economy in the country, worth £9.5bn – meaning significant potential exists.
Richard Smith, Chief Executive at Unite Students, said: “Manjit was an incredibly impressive individual. I admired her skill, ambition and tenacity – attributes she used to great effect while helping me and the wider organisation.
“We are delighted to be able to make a contribution to this initiative, established in her honour.
“Manjit made a valuable contribution to Unite Students until her untimely death, and we are pleased to keep her memory alive through this important work.
“The project embodies all that she stood for and also aligns with our own values as a business. We hope the donation will make a tangible difference to disadvantaged young people across Bradford.”
Steph Taylor, Director at GiveBradford, said: “With support from PFG and now Unite Students, the fund was launched in 2019 to honour Manjit with the aim of supporting children and young people in disadvantaged areas of the district.
“GiveBradford is privileged to be able to manage the fund and honour the legacy of Manjit and her family.”