Val’s bursary will help Rachel on way to uni

Rachel Deas, pupil at KHS is chosen as the first recipient of the Val McDermid Bursary a new annual award of �500 to a deserving student leaving home for further education. Rachel is pictured with Derek Allan, rector and Val.
Rachel Deas, pupil at KHS is chosen as the first recipient of the Val McDermid Bursary a new annual award of �500 to a deserving student leaving home for further education. Rachel is pictured with Derek Allan, rector and Val.

A Kirkcaldy High School pupil’s start at university is set to be a bit easier as she has been named the first recipient of a new bursary.

Rachel Deas will be presented with the McDermid Bursary at the school’s annual prizegiving in June.

The new initiative will take the form of an annual grant of £500 awarded to the school’s most deserving student leaving home to take up a Higher Education place and is being sponsored by Kirkcaldy born Val McDermid, world famous author of crime fiction.

Val, a former pupil at Kirkcaldy High became the first ever Scottish state school pupil to attend St Hilda’s College at Oxford University. It was this opportunity which made her keen to support the town’s current young talent to follow their dreams.

Rachel, (17) of Cawdor Crescent, leaves KHS this summer to study social policy at Strathclyde University.

She said: “This will be a great help to me at this time – I am aware of the financial stress that a degree course can cause.’’

The biggest portion of the grant will go towards the purchase of a laptop to support her studies.

Derek Allan, rector, said: “Val has been in touch frequently this session and gave an excellent talk to our Higher English students. She has been a terrific friend to her old school and her generosity is greatly appreciated.”

Val met Rachel recently and said: “Students face huge challenges to achieve their dreams.

‘‘One of those challenges is financial, and I’m glad to be able to offer some help to a student who has already demonstrated her commitment to learning and personal development.

‘‘Rachel is clearly a bright and articulate young woman who is on her way to achieving her ambitions.”