Boeing has announced a contribution of more than £60,000 to the Open University’s University Disabled Veterans’ Scholarships Fund, now in its third year of accepting applications.

The Scholarship Fund gives disabled veterans across the UK the opportunity to access life-changing education free of charge. Boeing’s contribution to the Fund will help more former servicemen and women plan for the future and a fulfilling career.

Sir Martin Donnelly, president of Boeing Europe and managing director of Boeing UK and Ireland said:

“Knowing that up to one in five veterans are discharged due to disability, it is important for us to support the transition of disabled service leavers to a fulfilling civilian life and career. I’m proud that we are supporting the Open University’s life-changing Disabled Veteran’s Scholarship Fund, and it is an honour to contribute to the transformative effect that learning can have.”

This grant to the Open University is part of Boeing’s 2019 global charitable grants package totalling more than £36 million ($48 million) announced yesterday. The grants, part of the Boeing Global Engagement portfolio, will support 404 charitable organisations in 50 countries, funding programmes into 2020 and beyond. One key pillar of Boeing’s community activity is support for veterans’ recovery and rehabilitation programmes and workforce transition services. In the UK, Boeing donates more than £450,000 each year to charity.

The Disabled Veterans’ Scholarships Fund launched in 2018 is the first of its kind in the UK. It enables disabled veterans to study for free, alongside receiving specialist disability support and careers advice. The scholarship programme is dedicated to furthering the education of men and women who have become disabled in, or due to, military service.

Jhumar Johnson, Director of Development at The Open University said:

“This support from Boeing is vital to helping us bring the life-changing benefits of education to veterans who are building new lives following the unplanned end of a military career.

“Upon leaving military life, veterans’ transferable skills – developed in a unique environment that demands excellence – can make a huge contribution both socially and economically. We know that higher education can be a valuable tool in identifying and harnessing those skills and carving out a new career path.”

The Disabled Veterans’ Scholarships Fund has so far awarded 105 scholarships over the last two years. The scholarship recipients reflect the diverse student body that the University attracts. The scholars have been from all four nations, spanning a wide age group from under 30 to over 60, choosing a wide variety of subjects across all faculties of the University from Science, Computing & IT and Business through to Design, Psychology and Sport.

Boeing is committed to investing in the communities in which it operates, through a strategic worldwide Global Engagement plan. The company’s engagement strategy focusses on three pillars: Our Future, developing STEM skills for young people, Our Heroes, helping veterans and their families after service, and Our Homes, supporting thriving local communities.

In spring 2020, the Fund will open again for applications to award 50 more scholarships. Further information about the application process is available on the Open University Disabled Veterans’ Scholarships Fund page please click here.