FARMING may be in her blood, but 16-year-old Charlotte Longlands will be spending her final study year at York’s Askham Bryan College deciding where her future lies.

Charlotte, whose family farm in the North Tyne valley in Northumberland, has completed her first year at Askham Bryan and returns in September for her final year, helped by a Bursary awarded by the Ray Wind Funds.

Speaking from the family farm, Charlotte explained: "I want to explore what options in agriculture are open for students like me. Whereas our family farm is animal focused, my interests lie in land, soil composition and improving crop yields to a fair price.”

She added: “Farming generally is not in a good place right now and for students of my age, taking over a family farm is not ideal. The Ray Wind Farm Bursary will enable me to commute home regularly, working on my laptop at home from time to time, staying relaxed, motivated and able to concentrate on my studies. I’m also using PPE to ensure bio security between the two mixed farms of home and Askham Bryan. All of this has enabled me to learn so much and meet many influential people in the agriculture industry.”

The ‘Education Apprenticeship & Training’ Bursaries can also be put towards the cost of course materials, laptops, printers, travel and accommodation. Even the cost of courses such as Food Hygiene Certification, Manual Handling, First Aid or an HGV licence can be considered for anyone over the age of 16.

David Burn, chair of the Community Interest Company which manages the Ray Wind Funds, said: "Academic commitment is vital, but it can be stifled by the frustrating lack of money and amenities. The Ray Wind Fund Bursaries can help to fill that gap, ensuring that students progress and develop to be the assets we want them to be within our communities.”

The Ray Wind Funds award all their grants within 10km of the Ray Wind Farm, near Kirkwhelpington. Since setting up in 2018, over £1,000,000 in awards have benefited local people in business, those starting or growing a business and local communities, all with monies raised from energy generated by wind turbines - part of Vattenfall, the Europe-based energy company.

To find out if you or your project might qualify for funding, visit the website: or email Jo Willis, the Ray Wind Funds’ administrator at: