Laura Caban has stepped into the spotlight after receiving a £2,000 grant towards undergraduate study in Edinburgh. Here she talks about her experiences as one of the first beneficiaries of Chivas Brothers' national bursary scheme.
I feel so lucky to have received one of the first grants available as part of Chivas Brothers’ bursary programme – it couldn’t have come at a better time. I had just scooped a place on the BA Acting for Stage and Screen Course, delivered by Edinburgh Napier and Queen Margaret universities, and I was really looking forward to starting the next chapter of my career.
However, being a drama student, I knew that there would be extra costs involved especially for big showcases and assessments where you need to buy costumes, travel to different venues and book rehearsal space. That’s when my grandad, Martin, suggested I apply for Chivas Brothers’ bursary scheme. He works in engineering at Chivas Brothers’ Strathclyde Distillery and had seen a poster about the bursary scheme at work.
The bursary is delivered in partnership with the Scottish International Education Trust (SIET) and gives employees and their families the opportunity to receive financial support for further education or training. I couldn’t believe it when I was awarded the maximum individual grant of £2,000. It’s enabled me to achieve so much more this year, from purchasing booklists for assessments, to covering the cost of additional classes.
I’ve also been able to establish a new theatre production company called Amplify with some of the other students on my course. We put on an amazing production of Dr Faustus in March and the extra financial support helped to buy books and attend talks on the supernatural so I could really bring the part to life. We’re also hoping to put on another show at the Fringe Festival next year so some of the bursary will help to fund rehearsals and travel.
Now I’m about to head into my final year which is when all of our major productions will take place. I know it’s going to be a really busy time for me and that there will be lots more work to do, so I’ve saved half of the grant to help me achieve my goals.
I’m really looking forward to the future and I’m really grateful to Chivas Brothers for helping me to begin my acting career. The bursary has provided invaluable support and I urge anyone else who needs help funding further education or training to apply.