A CRAVEN charity says it will not be awarding grants to students or schools this year because its source of income has collapsed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Trustees of the Sylvester Petyt charity say they have reluctantly had to take the decision as the investment funds the charity relies on to provide its income have collapsed in value as the financial markets have reacted to the pandemic.

The charity hopes that the funds will pick up over coming months and, that by taking the action now, it will ensure it can start awarding the grants again next year, like it has done for many years.

Trustees believe the charity would also have struggled to advertise its grants with the majority of the area’s secondary schools, and Craven College, closed due to the lockdown.

John Dawson, a trustee of the charity and its honorary clerk said:”It is very disappointing that we are not in a position this year to help Skipton students going on to further or higher education but we hope our action can ensure we can restart awarding grants in 2021.”

In normal times, the charity invites applications for small grants from students, under 25 years old, due to start university or a college of further education. Money can be used to buy specific items associated with the student’s course, such as a camera or musical instrument.