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Introducing Jacob Sakil, the first Simon Shades Scholar

Jacob Sakil Brun Bear Foundation Simon Shades Scholar

Jacob Sakil is delivering a food-based social action project

Jacob Sakil is the first recipient of The Simon Shades Scholarship. He receives £1,000 from Lewisham-based registered charity The Brun Bear Foundation to help fund living expenses and/or tuition fees while he completes an MA in Applied Anthropology and Community & Youth Work at Goldsmith’s College in New Cross.

As part of the application process Jacob was asked to put forward a project that resonates with the values and charitable purposes of The Brun Bear Foundation.

Jacob put forward an intergenerational food education project that brings together members of the Lewisham Alumni Network and secondary school students in Lewisham. The objective is that mixed teams of alumni and students work together to create a healthy, affordable three course meal and in the process connect and bond in a way the benefits mutual understanding and builds networks.

MasterChef Style finale

The programme consists of two workshops that lead to a MasterChef style finale in June. Here the teams will cook and present their three course meals, judged by a panel comprising representatives from The Brun Bear Foundation and the Young Mayors Office. The Lewisham Mayor’s Office and Phoenix Housing Association have also been invited.

The first workshop will introduce the students and Alumni members and they will form teams for the challenge ahead! During this workshop they will get to know about each other, learn about the careers of the Alumni in their teams, take part in ice-breaking activities and begin to think about how food impacts their everyday life.

Workshop two will be where teams start planning their three course meal, including budgeting and assigning roles within the team. There will be food sampling and cultural exchange.

The final phase – which is expected to be filmed – will mark the 2019/2020 programme’s exciting conclusion.

Throughout the process participants will be encouraged to keep video diaries to chart progress.

Playing it forward

Reflecting on his award Jacob said: “When I first applied to go to university one of the first questions I asked myself was how do I get the financial support I needed without taking on a large amount of debt? It took me some time as there aren't many grants readily available however I was surprised and excited to come across The Simon Shades Scholarship. Not only I was eligible for the Scholarship I felt really proud that the reason for the grant existing coincides with my personal beliefs and values.

“As the first recipient I've made it my responsibility to pay it forward which I intend to do through my social action project bringing younger and older people together over food. I wish nothing but the best for future candidates.”

The Simon Shades Scholarship was established in the spring of 2019 to honour the life of Simon Shades, his generosity of spirit and legacy of contribution to the community.

The scholarship is an annual, merit based competition, open to graduates of London Borough of Bromley and London Borough of Lewisham schools or colleges as well as those home-schooled within the Borough, with a background of, or potential for, civic involvement or community service.

Learn more. Apply

For more information on The Simon Shades Scholarship please see:

For more information on this year’s programme or any aspect of the Scholarship programme please contact:

For more information on The Brun Bear Foundation please see:

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