Four talented Scottish students are one step closer to realising their career ambitions after being awarded a total of £5,000 as part of Chivas Brothers’ national bursary scheme. The sought-after programme, held in partnership with the Scottish International Educational Trust (SIET), offers financial support to Chivas Brothers’ employees and their family members, championing them to undertake further education or training.

Announced today, the successful recipients are: Calum Jones who is studying Applied Music at the University of the Highlands and Islands; Marnie Thomson, an aspiring engineer at Glasgow City College; Sarah McGhee, who is completing a Masters at the University of Glasgow; and Fraser Murray, an aspiring chemical engineer at the University of Strathclyde.

Calum Jones, whose father William Jones is an auditor at Chivas Brothers, has been successfully writing and recording his own music since the age of 13, performing at prestigious events including with the Royal Northern College of Music Manchester Session Orchestra. The 17-year-old from Oran, Moray, has been awarded £1,300 in funding to purchase a state-of-the-art computer to assist him with the music technology elements of his course. Calum said: “It’s fantastic to be part of the bursary scheme. Music is my passion. I’ve been performing since I was little, and this funding will allow me to attend a number of residentials. The one thing I’m looking forward to most is learning Gaelic and more about Scottish heritage and culture so I can incorporate this into my music.”

Marnie Thomson from Cambuslang, Glasgow, has been awarded £1,500. She will use the money to fund an Access to Engineer SCQF course, bringing her one step closer to her dream career. Marnie was encouraged to apply for the funding by her sister, Shelley Thomson, an Operations and Manufacturing Graduate at Chivas Brothers. Marnie said: “I have always had an interest in engineering, my father has always been in the mechanics trade, but since becoming a mother to two children I have put my dream on hold. Thanks to the generosity of Chivas Brothers I will be able to pay for childcare while I’m studying. I hope this will help to set a good example to my children showing them that it is never too late to follow your dreams and do something you’re really passionate about.”

Clydebank resident and local primary school teacher, Sarah McGhee, has been given £1,300 to complete a Masters degree in Professional Learning and Enquiry, at the University of Glasgow. Sarah hopes the course will help her develop her leadership and management skills and pursue her passion to provide the best education for local young people. Sarah’s fiancé, Andrew McCormick, works in operations at Chivas Brothers, and the pair are set to marry in April 2019. Sarah adds: “It’s such an exciting year for the both of us with our wedding in the near future. I’m absolutely over the moon to receive the funding from Chivas Brothers which will help pay for my final year tuition fees and relieve additional monetary pressures for me and my fiancé.”

Finally, Fraser Murray from Cumbernauld, Glasgow, will contribute the £900 he was awarded towards travelling to the University of Strathclyde where he’s completing a Masters in Chemical Engineering. Fraser said: “My aim is to become a chartered chemical engineer. Once I have done this I want to take part in the Engineers Without Borders Scheme, a programme that aims to provide clean energy and safe drinking water to poverty-stricken areas around the world.”

Now in its third year, Chivas Brothers’ bursary scheme has awarded a total of £15,000 on inspiring students including a Forensics and Analytical chemistry student, a driven Human Rights graduate and an aspiring computer programmer.

Sandrine Ricard, Head of Sustainability and Responsibility, at Chivas Brothers, said: “As a business, we’re really proud of this initiative and hope that it continues to inspire our employees and their family members to pursue their passions. It was a difficult decision, but I’m really pleased for our four recipients who demonstrated real passion for their studies and I wish them every success.”

About Chivas Brothers

Chivas Brothers is a global drinks producer and exports company steeped in Scottish heritage. It is the only Pernod Ricard business dedicated entirely to Scotch whisky and comprises a prestigious range of single malt and blended whiskies. Chivas Brothers’ award-winning portfolio features some of the world’s most revered Scotch whisky brands including Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, Royal Salute and The Glenlivet. With a multitude of awards and accolades for its quality, craftsmanship, industry-leading sites and award-winning campaigns, its brands are at the heart of moments of connection across the globe.

The company comprises 1,600 employees, 14 Scotch distilleries, two bottling facilities and more than 300 warehouses across its 26 sites including Orkney, the Scottish mainland and London.