A HISTORIC scholarship fund has revealed the latest students to benefit from its grants.

Hania Buttar and Niamh O’Malley, from St Mary’s College in Blackburn, and Faye McNulty, from St Wilfrid’s C of E Academy in Blackburn, have been awarded scholarships from the Peel Foundation, which has been running in the town for more than 100 years.

The Peel Foundation scholarships were established in Blackburn in 1898 as a memorial to Sir Robert Peel (1750-1830), who was born in Oswaldtwistle and whose family established a pioneering calico printing firm in 1764.

The trustees apply the income of the Foundation to awards to students entering university or other institutions of higher education for degree courses.

Candidates must be nominated by their head teacher or principal of their college and will be selected using set criteria: academic excellence, career ambitions and financial need.

Hania is set to read medicine at Cardiff University after she achieved A-level grade A in biology and chemistry and an A* in geography.

Just over a decade ago, Hania and her family arrived in the UK having had to leave the Punjab with nothing to their name but the bags they carried.

Hania said she is committed to working in the NHS in Blackburn, as she wants to ‘give something back to the country which had given her family refuge’.

Niamh O’Malley, who achieved a grade A in geography and A* in English literature and geology, will read geology at Imperial College, London.

Niamh said she ‘loved rocks’ and when quizzed on her statement that ‘Ice has memory’ provided a thoughtful response which demonstrated that she knew her stuff.

Faye McNulty, who achieved a grade A in English literature and grade A* in both history and sociology, will read law at Newcastle University.

A spokesman for the Peel Foundation said Faye was a ‘terrific all-rounder, academically strong with an extensive extra-curricular portfolio, ranging through dance, kick-boxing, girl guides and swimming, leading to a number of awards’.

Jonathan Cave, clerk to the trustees of the Peel Foundation, said: “We have got three very good people and we were very impressed with them. They all come from interesting backgrounds.”