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‘She was very well known and much loved’: Olivia Burt’s parents are launching a charity in her memory

It focuses on providing opportunities to young people

The parents of Olivia Burt, a Natural Sciences student who died during her first year at Durham University in February last year, have set up a charity in their daughter’s name. The charity, named “Olivia Inspires”, is due to launch later this week.

The aim of Olivia Inspires is to provide financial assistance in the form of grants to young people aged 11 to 18 years, whose families live in the New Forest District, where Olivia was from, and who are facing financial hardship.

The grants will be used to fund items or services which will allow them to develop their potential in either STEM, the arts, or sport.

Olivia’s father, Nigel Burt, told The Tab Durham: “We chose to support young people in this age group, because this is where we can make the quickest impact with our support. We chose the New Forest because Olivia lived in the area for all but a few months of her 20 years and was very well known and much loved”

“We have homed in on STEM because this is the academic field that Olivia particularly excelled in. Support for the arts comes from Olivia’s love of music. She played the clarinet and saxophone, and was a member of the Castle Big Band”.

He also adds that the choice to fund sport through the charity comes as “little surprise”, as Olivia had always been an “exceptional sailor”. She had been a representative for Great Britain in two European Championships.

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The charity will officially launch on Thursday 3rd October, though donations have already come flooding in from those keen to support the cause. Funds raised so far currently stand at almost £6,000. Castle student, Cori Robbins, successfully managed to fundraise an amazing £850 from her annual family-run fell race in the Mendips, the Crook Peak Cake Race.

Castle Community Action and Castle JCR have also selected Olivia Inspires as one of its chosen charities to raise funds for this academic year.

On the charity’s webpage, her parents write: “Our daughter Olivia was a gifted and beautiful young woman who inspired others.

“She was just embarking on a journey that would have doubtless seen her leaving a lasting mark on our world. But more than this, everyone who knew Olivia remembers her smile and her kindness, and how she would go out of her way to help people”.

Applications for those wishing to apply for a grant open on Thursday 3rd October, the same day as the charity’s launch.

You can find out more about Olivia Inspires on its website, and follow the charity’s progress on its Facebook page.

Anyone wishing to fundraise or make a donation to the charity is able to do so via the online giving page here.