in our campaign we decided to use the voice of students and their personal expiriences to help our cause. we thought relating the issue to people on a more personal level would help the viewer or reader empathise with the campaign topic consequently making a more succesful campaign.
One student from Staffordshire, Dannii, said she had begun to ask herself why she had gone back to college at all.She said: "My mum earns nothing and lives on benefits, as she can't work because my sister is disabled."She can't afford to lend me any money and it's costing me £19 a week in bus fare at the moment - not to mention the amount I've got to spend on books and materials."At the moment I owe my dad £80 due to backlogged EMA."I work two jobs as well as trying to study full-time for my A-levels, and it's still not covering what I need."
One father-of-two from Millom in Cumbria, who did not want to give his name for fear of embarrassing his children, said: "We are trying our level best to scrape together some help to allow our daughter to continue in college to complete her NVQ Level 3."He continued: "Our nearest college is one hour away and although she has a bus pass it's not always that simple to get to and from the college when she stays for late practical classes."She can't buy essential clothing and equipment. It's a proper worry." He has also had to re-apply on his son's behalf because the application form sent in weeks ago does not appear to have been processed i thought some of these would be useful for a more personal take on the campaign
Ellie Long is 16 and from Liverpool.
She wants to go to sixth form but she's worried she won't be able to afford it if her EMA is cut.
It's just her and her dad at home, and he earns a low wage as a van driver.
She says: "I don't know if I can go to college or sixth form.
"Not many of my mates' parents earn more than £30,000 and most of them are single parents," she says. "Most of us are worried about it."
"My school never had enough copies to provide students with text books within one given subject so I use to use my EMA savings to purchase books for each subject, which were sometimes £40-£60. Transport has now gone up and I use to use my weekly EMA to top up to use the train."
"Being a single mum and raising 3 teenage children on my own without a job is bad enough, but since EMA is being scrapped I don’t know what the future will hold for my kids as I can’t afford to pay for their school equipment, food money, clothes etc all on my own. By the government providing money to those less fortunate were able to move forward with their education, but since EMA’s being scrapped who knows if my children will carry onto college."
"I greatly benefited from EMA throughout my time at sixth form in Brighton. It was a great help and meant I did not need to get a job and could focus on my studies.
I got much better results than I was expecting at the beginning of the course. I managed to achieve AAA* in my A-levels and I doubt I would have been able to have achieved if I did not receive EMA.
The grant gave me independence - it meant I didn't have to rely on my mum who is a single parent."
"I finished school and I was very happy I started college and found I could not afford all the equipment I needed so I applied for EMA and the EMA money helps me get all the tools of which i need for my course I am doing at college my parents were also a big help when I had this problem but EMA has helped me a very lot EMA is a great idea to help you with affording costs for equipment u may need for college."
"I received EMA and it helped me pay for my equipment that was needed at sixth form, it also helped me pay for travel as I lived far from my sixth form therefore I had to take the train. Due to me getting paid £30 a week I was able to afford all this plus food, however if I was not to receive EMA then I would not have carried onto further education and would have found a job locally.
Thanks to EMA I managed to pass my A Levels and am now studying at Hertfordshire University."