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18/11/2007: Cmc Markets Partners With Variety To Offer Disadvantaged Kids Chance To Shine

CMC Markets, a leading online financial trading company, has joined forces with Variety - The Children's Charity to help disadvantaged New Zealand children achieve their life goals in education.

The company is sponsoring six educational scholarships as part of the 2008 Variety Gold Heart Scholarship Programme.

Launched in February, the programme is dedicated to fostering the talents of disadvantaged, sick or disabled New Zealand children in the fields of art, sports, music or education. The scholarships make available to each recipient a maximum of $5,000 per year for up to three years, to help fulfil his or her life goals. Ten scholarships were awarded in 2007 - the inaugural year.

Variety's CEO Lorraine Taylor said the generous support of CMC Markets has enabled them to expand the programme for 2008 to attract more scholarship applications related to educational goals.

"We urge anyone who knows of a child that is sick, disabled or disadvantaged in some way, and demonstrates a passion and commitment towards a long-term measurable goal to advise them of this programme," she said.

"We are looking for children who have already made significant achievements within a particular educational subject such as Maths, Science or English and the goal of our Variety Gold Heart Scholarship Programme is that it will help take them to the next level."

For example, the educational scholarships could be used to help a child who is gifted but financially disadvantaged, to attend a Gifted Kids programme. Or it could be used to fund extra tuition in a subject a child was excelling in, but with further learning could achieve at an international level.

CMC Markets general manager Sargon Elias said the company wanted to help young people facing hardship to get ahead and Variety's Gold Heart Scholarship Programme was a perfect fit.

"The philosophy behind the programme resonates well with our company," he says. "CMC Markets was founded by a man whose childhood circumstances could mirror some of the applicants to these scholarships."

CMC Markets British founder, Peter Cruddas established the company 18 years ago with a starting capital of just £10,000 pounds and has since amassed a fortune of more than £1 billion, making him the City of London's richest man.

His story is the quintessential rags to riches tale of entrepreneurship - the son of a hard-drinking porter at a London meat market and a mother who worked as an office cleaner, Peter left home at the age of 15 to find work. As a result he is passionate about helping other disadvantaged young children get ahead and is now one of London's biggest philanthropists, recently donating £1.5 million to charities helping youth.

Lorraine Taylor said CMC's generous donation will offer six children with special needs the chance to pursue their educational dreams. "The majority of our 2007 scholarships were to fund sports related goals, and so we are looking to encourage more applications from children seeking to excel in other fields including education, music and the arts."

While the majority of applications for the inaugural 2007 scholarship fund were for sports scholarships, the range of disabilities was diverse including; spina bifida, cancer, vision impairment, paraplegic, autism, diabetes and financial hardship.

Applications for the 2008 scholarships open on Monday 5 November and close on Friday 8 February at 5.00 pm. The 2008 scholarships will be officially presented at the Variety International Convention in May 2008 at the SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre.

The Variety Grants Committee is responsible for reviewing all applications. Applicants must also fit within Variety's existing grant 'special needs' criteria i.e. children challenged physically or intellectually due to illness or disability; or disadvantaged due to socio-economic conditions or geographic isolation, and be aged up to 18 years.

Variety will aim to pair successful recipients with a mentor within the field of expertise. Mentors for 2007 include Sarah Ulmer, Hamish Carter, Stephen Clifton, Cory Hutchings, Justin Haiu, Alison Fitch, Tony Christiansen, Simon Barnett, Alistair Hunt, and Joanne Carter.

For more information about the Variety Gold Heart Scholarship Fund, or to apply please contact Heather Stevens at Variety on 09 520 4111, email helpkids@variety.org.nz or visit www.variety.org.nz



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