Daniel receives his scholarship from Amy Newton, Branch Co-ordinator for the MS Society in Scotland

Fife College student Daniel McLean, is the first in the country to receive a scholarship, supported by the Fife Branch of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society, which has been set up to support people with MS while they study.

Daniel, 17 from Dunfermline, attends Fife College’s Dunfermline Campus and was delighted to hear about the new scholarship which has been set up through the Adam Smith Foundation, Fife College’s Scholarship Programme.

Daniel was diagnosed with MS when he was 16 and still at school. Due to the condition, Daniel had to take four months off school and lost some confidence. Now at College Daniel has continued with his studies, made new friends and is now achieving great results in his Higher English course. He is determined not to let MS get in the way of what he wants to achieve, which is continuing on at College to complete HNC Social Sciences followed by a career in the Police.

A special presentation was held recently to award £1,000 to Daniel which he plans to put towards buying a car once he passes his driving test.

Gaynor Jamieson welcomed Daniel and representatives from the MS Society to the presentation where they found out more about Daniel and his achievements.

Lecturer Mary Burgess, who nominated Daniel for the award said: “Daniel is a fantastic student and has great writing skills. He works very hard and has shown great bravery not to let his MS interfere with his studies. He just gets on with it and keeps positive which is a great mind-set to have for anyone. I wish him all the very best in his future studies.”

Amy Newton, Branch Co-ordinator for the MS Society in Scotland was delighted to attend and present Daniel with his scholarship and certificate. Amy was accompanied by Robin Briggs and Sue Polson, both Members of the MS National Council. Said Amy: “This is the first time the MS Society has supported a college student in this way and we are delighted that our first scholarship has gone to someone as worthy as Daniel. Over 800 people have been diagnosed with MS in Fife – we hope that this will be the first of many scholarships and that other MS Societies will follow the lead of the Fife Branch, and offer support in their own areas.”

“Being diagnosed with MS can be a very difficult time for many people. It can affect individuals in many different ways - you can look well on the outside but inside you are suffering from a range of symptoms, from cognitive and bladder difficulties to issues with balance and severe fatigue. Daniel is a very deserving recipient of this award – we were delighted to meet him and through this scholarship we look forward to keeping in touch with him and offering him extra help when he needs it.”

Said Daniel: “A few years ago I started to lose the feeling in my hands and feet and my balance was also affected – I found out I had MS which does make me feel tired and unable to co-ordinate my movements some days. I’m learning to adapt and coming to College has helped me do this as it is flexible so I can put in the extra work when I can.

“I’m really enjoying my course and I’m looking forward to going on to do the HNC and from that hopefully my dream job of working in the Police. I’m very thankful to the College, my lecturer Mary and especially to the MS Society – knowing I’m the first to receive this scholarship is a great feeling. Through the scholarship I’ve also met others such as Amy, Robin and Sue and it’s great to hear how they cope with MS and to get their advice – to know they are there means a lot.”

The Adam Smith Foundation awards scholarships throughout the year to Fife College students through over 40 scholarship programmes. Last year the Foundation benefitted 131 students – it is expected that many more will benefit this year from funding and opportunities to support them in their future studies and career.

For further details about the Adam Smith Foundation visit their page or email scholarships@fife.ac.uk