Guild members will have an opportunity to enrol on a CPD course of their choosing, after trustees of the Joe Watson Legacy Fund – the Guild’s ‘other’ charitable trust – announced details of this year’s awards.
Endowed with the surplus from the 2014 IFAJ Congress in Scotland, the Fund was established to ensure a lasting legacy from the event by promoting education in agricultural journalism and communication.
“Given the link to Congress, so far we’ve achieved our charitable objective through the provision of bursaries and stipends to attend IFAJ and ENAJ events,” says chairman of trustees Adrian Bell.
“Regrettably, Covid-19 meant we had to cancel our plans to fund two places to the Danish Congress in 2020, and of course no-one’s travelling anywhere this year either. The 2021 IFAJ Congress has been postponed, as have all the low-budget press trips organised by ENAJ.”
Rather than wait indefinitely until these events resume, the trustees – Adrian, Louise Impey and Julie Mate – decided the travel hiatus shouldn’t hinder the Fund’s commitment to supporting education and development.
“Instead of travel grants, we’re going to take applications for grants to help our agricultural journalists, photographers and communicators pursue their own choice of CPD course,” Adrian explains.
“We’re rolling our unspent 2020 funds into 2021 to create a sizeable funding pot, which we hope will fund more than a dozen applicants to be able to attend courses that are relevant and valuable for their career development, whatever their discipline or specialism.”
The trustees plan to make grants of up to £250 per individual. Courses below that level can be fully funded, while successful applicants would be free to top-up the grant themselves if they wished to enrol on a more expensive course.
More details on how to apply will be announced later in the year.