£3,000 grant boost for talented Strabane student

Conan Conwell from Strabane has been awarded a £3,000 grant from Acorn Inspire bursary. Conan is pictured with Acorn fund development officer Shauna Kelpie and his NWRC lecturer and mentor, Emmett McCourt.

A STRABANE student has been awarded a £3,000 funding boost to assist him with future training.

Conan Conwell (22) was one of just ten people to receive an Acorn Inspire Bursary fund which is awarded to young people with different levels of ability who wish to pursue training and mentor support in the arts or culture sector.


Conan who suffers from a heart condition and epilepsy, has just completed a Level Three course in hospitality and catering at the North West Regional College (NWRC) and believes this bursary will definitely help further his career.

“I am planning to use the mentorship programme to travel as much as I can,” said Conan. “I believe that the best way to learn something is to experience it.”

Choosing his NWRC lecturer and award winning chef Emmett McCourt to help guide him into a career in the food industry, Conan is looking forward to the year ahead.

“Emmett and I hope to visit India next year, so I can learn as much as I can about the food culture over there.

“From my first day at NWRC I built up an excellent rapport with Emmett. He gave me the opportunity to experience so many things in hospitality and catering.

“My medical condition means I am unable to drive myself, however with Emmett I have been able to travel around Ireland and learn so much about food culture and heritage so I will look forward to our trip to India.”

A delighted Emmett says he is overwhelmed to share this experience with Conan

“I was overwhelmed when Conan approached me and asked me to be his mentor,” said Emmett.

“I have never met anyone who works as hard as him. Conan is determined and is completely reliable. He thoroughly deserves this award and I am delighted to be able to guide him through his journey to learning about the culinary significance of food across the globe.”


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