A STUDENT is celebrating success after winning a dream scholarship to study at a prestigious university.

Hannah Gaffey, who grew up in Horwich, was accepted onto a masters degree course at Cambridge University but has had to run a fundraising campaign to cover thousands of pounds in costs.

The resourceful 22-year-old was even featured in The Bolton News when she turned to making bags and t-shirts in effort to raise the cash needed to start on her course.

Now, she has been announced as the winner of a scholarship which will allow her to take up the offer and study a MPhil in education, international globalisation and international development in October.

Speaking after the funding was announced, Hannah thanked the people of Bolton for getting behind her.

“What an overwhelming privilege and honour it is to announce that I’m the recipient of the Future Finance Scholarship Programme,” she said.

“After eight months of campaigning, fundraising and worrying, a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I could never have achieved this without the support network of friends, family and my local community.

"I am incredibly excited to be able to take my place at Murray Edwards College Cambridge in October, and begin a future where I can give to others the kind of support Future Finance has given me."

Hannah recently graduated from Queen Mary, University of London with a first class degree in English Language and Linguistics and was hoping to purse her interest in education at Cambridge.

The money is being put forward by student lending company Future Finance and will see her given £20,000 to fund tuition fees and living costs throughout the course.

The programme attracted over 730 applications from students at 382 universities and institutions before a shortlist of 13 names was put to a public ballot, with more than 15,000 votes cast.

Olga Dolchenko, CEO at Future Finance, said: “Our scholarship programme was founded as a way to invest in the next generation by providing support to those who might otherwise have never had the opportunity to take their education further.

"Hannah’s story stood out to us because she shares our passion for making education accessible to all.

“Hannah’s commitment to furthering her education is not just supported by all of the team at Future Finance, but also to the thousands of people who voted for her.

"It is a privilege to be able to bridge the funding gap allowing Hannah to fully concentrate on her studies."