Stormzy has donated £500,000 to fund scholarships for students from disadvantaged backgrounds,The Guardian reports. His gift to the Black Heart Foundation is the first major bit of funding made as part of his pledge earlier this year to give away £10 million to organisations fighting racial inequality in the UK.
The donation will cover the cost of providing cash grants to roughly 50 students, offering support to people of any age who need financial assistance, not just for university. The Black Heart Foundation has previously provided scholarships to people needing to cover transport costs to a distant school, and to train to be an airline pilot.
Stormzy’s donation was made through his registered charity, the Merky Foundation. Previously, Stormzy created a scholarship for Black students attending the University of Cambridge, paying their full tuition and providing a grant for their living expenses.
Although the Black Heart Foundation has primarily awarded scholarships to people from BAME backgrounds, anybody from an underresourced or underrepresented community can apply. The foundation was founded by Ric Lewis, head of the property investment fund Tristan Capital Partners, and has awarded 100 scholarships since 2013. Following the Black Lives Matter protests this year, the Black Heart Foundation was aiming to raise an additional £1 million, which Lewis said they had almost reached even before Stormzy’s donation.
The Merky Foundation’s contribution “is an amazing testament to their vision and commitment to higher and further education for ambitious, hardworking young people from the most under-resourced and under-represented communities in our society,” Lewis said, according to The Guardian. “With their support we will reach another 50 young people, taking the total number of scholars we can help to 250.”