Charity grants available for local school leavers headed to university

Benjamin Laney

Benjamin Laney - Credit: Archant

Bishop Laney’s Charity is encouraging A-Level school leavers to apply to its grant programme to help support their educational costs at university.

Contributions from the charity, which gives educational and vocational grants to young people in the Soham and Ely parishes and surrounding villages, can be used towards books and educational resources.

A spokesman for Bishop Laney said: “Students need to apply before September 14 to receive financial assistance. Typically, grants are awarded over £500 over the period of a three-year course, but every application is considered on its own merit.

“Consequently, the charity is in a position to support local students each year. In 2016, we awarded grants to 124 students and apprentices and hope to have even more successful applicants this year.

“All decisions on payment of grants are made by six trustees, collectively, who meet at least five times a year.”

For more information and to apply for a grant visit

The history of Bishop Laney

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Benjamin Laney was born in Ipswich in 1590 and studied in Cambridge, first at Christ’s College and later at Pembroke Hall. In 1630 he was elected master of Pembroke Hall, and in 1632 vice chancellor of the university.

In 1639 he was appointed chaplain to King Charles I and became a canon at Westminster. Because of his loyalty to the King he was turned out of his Mastership in 1644 by the Earl of Manchester, the parliament’s visitor, and also lost his ecclesiastical preferments, whereupon he went abroad and attended King Charles II as chaplin during his exile.

On the Restoration, Dr. Laney was appointed Bishop of Peterborough, but was subsequently translated to Lincoln and finally to Ely in 1667. During his episcopate at Ely he rebuilt a considerable part of the Bishop’s Palace which had been allowed to fall into decay under the Commonwealth.

On 24 January 1674 Bishop Laney died at the age of 84 and was buried in the South Aisle of the Cathedral. In his will he bequeathed his estate to trustees upon charitable trust in 1674.