1489. Novlet Nicholson
Novlet Nicholson, from Birmingham, set up ‘DEMI Trust’ to help students from underrepresented and low income backgrounds realise their ambitions of attending university by providing them with essential starter packs.
Novlet set up the charity in 2017 in memory of her daughter Demi, who was killed in a traffic accident, aged 21, before she was able to complete her law degree at Liverpool Hope University. Demi was the first person from her family to attend university, and had been on course to graduate with a First. To help with her grief and create a legacy for Demi, Novlet founded ‘DEMI Trust’ (which also stands for Dream Enormous, Make an Impact), which supports first year students by providing items they will need for moving into student accommodation, such as bedding and cookware, as well as offering financial assistance where possible and signposting students to further support. Novlet runs an annual fundraising ball in aid of the Trust, which this year, in light of the pandemic, she replaced with a cycling challenge, riding 100 miles over 7 consecutive days.
In a personal letter to Novlet, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I am lost in admiration for your service to others through the D.E.M.I Trust.
“You are doing a wonderful thing by helping students from less privileged backgrounds in such a practical way. You are also preserving Demi’s memory and doing exactly as she would have wished by bringing happiness and brightness to many young lives.”
“Thank you so much. I am truly honoured to receive this award and overwhelmed by the recognition from the Prime Minister. This means a lot to me.
“D.E.M.I. has helped many less privileged students overcome some of the difficulties they experience when embarking on university life. While my late daughter’s name lives on through the charity it will continue to motivate young people to be the very best version of themselves and to Dream Enormous – Make an Impact.”