Ben Jones

An Ecology and Conservation student received his second scholarship from Edge Hill University after receiving multiple nominations for his outstanding dedication to maintaining the University’s allotment.

Ben Jones, 23, has gone above and beyond while maintaining the allotment, he visited most days during the first national lockdown, ensuring the plants were watered, weeds were taken out, and the bird feeders were full.  

Ben said: “Working on the allotment was amazing for my health and wellbeing during the pandemic. It got me out of the house, gave me plenty of exercise, added structure to my days and I got plenty of fresh air.

“It also gave me this amazing sense of community. I received loads of donations of tools and equipment and repaid them with the vegetables I grew. I loved the whole experience and I’m really grateful that I had the opportunity to do it.”

Ben is also the President of Edge Hill’s Eco Garden Society which he formed to enable other students at the university to get involved on the allotment. For a small joining fee, Ben provides seeds and instruction about how to grow their own vegetables as well as introducing members to ways of living sustainably by composting and recycling.

Before Ben came along the allotment was overgrown and underutilised. He made a number of major improvements including a water feature which attracted the local frogs, a seating and planting area, and a new much larger composting area. Ben even fenced off a dedicated area for the bees who live on campus and purchased bee-friendly plants to support local colonies.

Ben, who is currently in his second year at Edge Hill, was awarded a £2,000 University Scholarship. The financial support from his scholarship and funding from the Student Opportunity Fund allowed Ben to continue his passion for transforming the allotment.

Speaking of his scholarship Ben says “Because I didn’t have to apply for this myself, it was really nice knowing that my peers recognised my achievements with the allotment, especially the grounds staff. Neil Toner, who is the Grounds Manager at Edge Hill, also nominated me, it was good knowing he saw and appreciated my hard work.”

During his second year at Edge Hill, Ben and his girlfriend, also an Edge Hill University student, applied to the ERASMUS Programme which allows students in Higher Education to study some of their modules abroad. Ben used his scholarship to fund travel and living expenses while on the programme.

The University Scholarship is worth £2,000 and celebrates students who help to raise the profile of Edge Hill in a positive way through their exceptional contribution to the University.  

The award also recognises students who contribute to equal opportunities and diversity awarding notable contributions to equality in support of race, disability, gender, sexuality, religion, anti-poverty, anti-ageism or any form of anti-discrimination.  

To be considered for a University Scholarship, you will need to be nominated by an Edge Hill University student or a member of staff. To nominate someone for a University Scholarship, you need to complete and submit our University Scholarship Nomination Form.  

Applications for scholarships are now open and the closing date for nominations is Monday 31 May 2021 at 5pm.