Give a Girl an Education

by Amber...Zoe in 

Fundraising for 16 year old Amber to access further education from home as her mental health issues rule out college. She's not giving up.

by Amber...Zoe in

We did it
On 10th September 2015 we successfully raised £4,595 with 153 supporters in 28 days

New stretch target

By some extraordinary miracle I have reached my target - that's so amazing and I can't thank my backers enough!

I ve now secured my place at Inter High to study for my A-levels and I don't need more pledges but you can still pledge to my future and claim the remaining rewards if you'd like to.Your donation will not be wasted! Any extra money could go towards something useful, like: setting up my own business, higher education after my A-levels, future driving lessons, etc.


Project aim

Fundraising for 16 year old Amber to access further education from home as her mental health issues rule out college. She's not giving up.

 

About the project

 

 

Who's the girl? 

The girl is me. My name is Amber Kirk- Ford, I'm 16 and I really need your help. Three years ago I developed several illnesses overnight: Chronic Anxiety & Panic Disorder, along with Emetophobia and Agoraphobia. Suddenly, I couldn't go to school or places with my family. I couldn't even hang out with friends. I went from being carefree and independent to becoming a constant burden on everyone around me. In short, it was devastating.

 

What happened next?

After lengthy meetings with my school and various solutions tried and failed, we began to think about home education. I'd been home educated when I was much younger and it was a success, but this time I was about to start my GCSEs and we all agreed that I needed qualified teachers. That's when we discovered InterHigh. 

 

Hang on, what's InterHigh?

 

 

InterHigh is an amazing non-profit independent school conducted entirely online, catering for students from all over the world, using classroom software and a headset to communicate with the teachers and classmates. Classes are live and highly interactive and, not only does InterHigh teach to International GCSE level, but it also has its own online sixth form college where A-levels can be studied, too.

 

Sounds amazing!

It is! It was the perfect solution, and as my parents couldn't afford the fees, my ordinary school agreed to fund my place on the condition that I continued to make good academic progress. I was so, so happy because it meant I could continue my education and therefore get my qualifications despite my illness.

 

Therapy...

I tried going to a psychotherapist but, being severely agoraphobic, this didn't work out. I then turned to online counselling where I built up a great relationship with my counsellor, but the organisation she worked for went into administration soon after - it was there one day and gone the next, with no warning. Doctors refuse to give me anti-anxiety medication as they say I am too young, and eventually I was referred to an online Cognitive Behaviour Therapist. This helped just enough to get me to a stage where I could go and sit my exams, although that wasn't without its problems. I got through it with the support of my old school, who couldn't have been more helpful, and my parents.  I get my exam results on 20th August.

 

So, what's next?

Nothing. That's right, absolutely nothing. Unless you can help me?

There is no support in place for a young person with my type of mental illness to be able to attend college, do an apprenticeship or go out to work.  Education is free in the UK up until you're 19, but only if you're physically able to get to a college. There are no student loans for studying at home. Sure, sometimes I can go out, with certain members of my family or on my own, but a lot of the time I can't. There's no way of knowing in advance if I'm going to be OK the next day or not, so how could I commit to a mainstream college or job?

What I really want to do is continue my education like other people my age. I want to go back to InterHigh to get my A-levels, and to not be beaten by my anxiety or lack of money. But my funding has come to an end, and I've been turned down for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) hence the need to crowdfund.

 

What will the money cover? 

I'm looking to raise £4,500. This amount of money is impossible for me to imagine, but I'm hopeful we can do it and change my life for the better. 

This would cover:

  • 2 years at InterHigh where I would study for 2 A-levels (£1,830 per annum = £3,660)
  • The registration fee (£50)
  • The fee deposit (£150)
  • One-off examination admin fee (£100)
  • External examination centre fees
  • Textbooks

I've never asked for anything as big and important as this before, and trust me when I say that I wouldn't be crowdfunding if I didn't absolutely need to. I've looked into other options, and this is my best and only chance at furthering my education. We're pretty much a one-income family and things are already very tight, so anything you are able to pledge - whether that's £1 or £50 - would be extremely appreciated. 

For the reasons above, I know not everyone can pledge, and if that's you then it would be really helpful if you could share the link to this page on Twitter, Facebook and anywhere else you can think of. I'd be so grateful.

 

"We would always be proud to have you."

- Jacqueline Daniell, Director of Development at InterHigh.

 

Wait... don't I know you from somewhere?

 

 

You might do!

I used to have my own column called 'Amber Warning' in the Lynn News; I run a multi-award-winning blog and I make weekly videos about books for my YouTube channel. I've even written for the Guardian a few times.

People say my future's bright, but it'll be a lot brighter with these qualifications. Without them, life is going to be even more of a challenge than it is now. Your help would mean the world to me and my family.

 

Please, choose a reward and pledge if you can, and share this page far and wide.

Thank you.

P.S. If none of the listed rewards sound like your sort of thing but you still want to pledge, you can just choose the DAISY reward and enter an amount of your choice.

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£5 or more

£5 Reward

[DAISY reward] A thank you email for supporting me!

£6 or more

11 of 10 claimed

£6 Reward

[PEACH reward] A thank you email and a free download of 'Freestyle Zendoodle' - an ebook by artist Zoe Ford of Top Floor Treasures. Will be delivered at the end of this crowdfunder.

£10 or more

£10 Reward

[RED reward] A thank you email and your name included in a blog post and video so everyone knows how awesome you are.

£15 or more

3 of 3 claimed

£15 Reward

[ORANGE reward] Advertising space for your book in my sidebar for one month (must be suitable for a Young Adult audience). You also get the RED reward.

£15 or more

3 of 3 claimed

£15 Reward

[YELLOW reward] Advertising space for your art / craft blog or shop in the sidebar of topfloortreasures.com for one month. You also get the RED reward.

£15 or more

0 of 1 claimed

£15 Reward

[CERISE 2 reward] A book from your wishlist up to the value of £10 and an original zendoodled bookmark by artist Zoe Ford, plus GREEN reward.

£20 or more

£20 Reward

[GREEN reward] A handwritten thank you letter. You also get the RED reward.

£25 or more

0 of 1 claimed

£25 Reward

[CRIMSON 2 reward] A copy of the book 'Small Blue Thing' SIGNED by the author, Sue Ransom, plus the GREEN reward.

£25 or more

0 of 5 claimed

£25 Reward

[TURQUOISE reward] A birthday present and card from me! That's right, I'll send you a gift on your birthday and I'll try my very best to make sure it's something you'll love. You also get the GREEN reward.

£25 or more

1 of 1 claimed

£25 Reward

[LEMON reward] A copy of the book 'Amber' SIGNED by the author, Julie Sykes, plus the GREEN reward.

£35 or more

1 of 1 claimed

£35 Reward

[BLUE reward] An exclusive SIGNED bookplate by author Celine Kiernan, plus GREEN reward.

£40 or more

0 of 1 claimed

£40 Reward

[NAVY reward] The 'Geekhood' series SIGNED by the author, Andy Robb, plus the GREEN reward.

£50 or more

3 of 3 claimed

£50 Reward

[INDIGO reward] A package of surprise bookish goodies, hand-picked by me, plus GREEN reward.

£55 or more

1 of 1 claimed

£55 Reward

[VIOLET reward] A copy of the book 'The It Girl' SIGNED by the author, Katy Birchall, plus the GREEN reward.

£55 or more

1 of 1 claimed

£55 Reward

[MAGENTA reward] A copy of the book 'Boys Don't Knit' SIGNED by the author, Tom Easton, plus the GREEN reward.

£55 or more

1 of 1 claimed

£55 Reward

[TEAL reward] A copy of the book 'My Secret Rockstar Boyfriend' SIGNED by the author, Eleanor Wood, plus the GREEN reward.

£55 or more

1 of 1 claimed

£55 Reward

[PINK reward] A copy of the book 'Linked' SIGNED by the author, Imogen Howson, plus the GREEN reward.

£55 or more

1 of 1 claimed

£55 Reward

[CRIMSON reward] A copy of the book 'The Beneath' SIGNED by the author, Sue Ransom, plus the GREEN reward.

£55 or more

1 of 1 claimed

£55 Reward

[SCARLET reward] A copy of the book 'Resistance' SIGNED by the author, Celine Kiernan, plus the GREEN reward.

£60 or more

3 of 3 claimed

£60 Reward

[PURPLE reward] Advertising space for your book in my sidebar for SIX months (book must be suitable for a Young Adult audience) plus GREEN reward.

£60 or more

3 of 3 claimed

£60 Reward

[LIME reward] Advertising space for your art / craft blog or shop in the sidebar of topfloortreasures.com for SIX months, plus the GREEN reward.

£65 or more

1 of 1 claimed

£65 Reward

[CERISE reward] A book from your wishlist up to the value of £10 and an original zendoodled bookmark by artist Zoe Ford, plus GREEN reward.

£75 or more

1 of 2 claimed

£75 Reward

[BRONZE reward] The opportunity to become a guest blogger on my multi-award-winning themilelongbookshelf.com for SIX months (1 post per month). You'll get blogging tips, advice & invaluable experience, plus the chance to make important contacts in the publishing industry. You'll also get the GREEN reward.

£75 or more

1 of 2 claimed

£75 Reward

[SILVER reward] The opportunity to become a guest blogger on art blog topfloortreasures.com for SIX months (1 post per month) writing about your experiences with art or art journaling. You'll get invaluable help and experience using self-hosted Wordpress and excellent post promotion by Top Floor Treasures. You also get the GREEN reward.

£100 or more

4 of 4 claimed

£100 Reward

[RUBY reward] Advertising space for your book in my sidebar for ONE YEAR (book must be suitable for a Young Adult audience) plus GREEN reward.

£100 or more

2 of 3 claimed

£100 Reward

[SAPPHIRE reward] Advertising space for your art / crafts blog or shop in the sidebar of topfloortreasures.com for ONE YEAR plus GREEN reward.

£150 or more

1 of 1 claimed

£150 Reward

[PLATINUM REWARD] You get to choose the name of a character in Holly Bourne's next book! How amazing is that?! She can't promise the character will be nice, but I can promise you that this is the coolest opportunity ever. We will pass your email address on to Holly who will be in touch after the crowdfunder. Plus GREEN reward.

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