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Lou Willcock Scholarship

Lou Willcock (1961 – 2018)


The Lou Willcock Scholarship, from the Oxford Cultural Collective

Applications are now open for the 2023 Lou Willcock Scholarship (closing date 13th January 2023)


Secure a grant of up to £10,000 to support your personal and professional development.  Open to those aged from 18 to 35, who are UK residents working or studying in hospitality or gastronomy.


For enquires and to discuss possible applications, contact the OCC team (occ@oxfordculturalcollective.com).


This is your opportunity to engage in a creative project, of your own design, that will enhance your skills and attributes and ideally have a positive impact on others.

Applicants are invited to propose a personal or professional development project that reflects their aspirations and passions and that will have a lasting legacy. This might involve overseas travel, to engage in a distinctive learning experience; the acquisition of skills that enable a move from a corporate role to entrepreneurial life; or the launch of a community project that will extend opportunities to others. The OCC Trust places no limits on applicants’ creativity and is looking forward to receiving truly innovative proposals.

Project proposals should be well constructed and show evidence of appropriate planning and research. The OCC Trust will work with winning applicants to further refine project proposals and to help make them happen in the most effective way possible.

The OCC Trust is keen to receive project proposals that have a strong social purpose, which are likely to benefit others, and encourages applications from those representing a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures.

The maximum grant available is £10,000. The level of grant will be determined by the project costs.

Winning applicants will also receive personal mentoring support from one of the Trustees of the OCC Trust, for a period of at least one year.

The 2023 scholarship submission deadline is 23:59 on 13th January 2023.


This scholarship has been created to honour the legacy of Lou Willcock (1961 – 2018), a creative force in hospitality, who was a close friend and colleague of many in the OCC community. In addition to achieving great personal success as an entrepreneur, she dedicated herself to supporting others as a mentor and guide. Her relentlessly positive, hopeful and inquiring approach had a life-affirming
impact on all who knew her.


The members of the judging panel for the 2023 Lou Willcock Scholarship are:

Ravinder Bhogal is an award-winning food writer, journalist and stylist. She is the author of two cookbooks and has a regular column in the FT. Ravinder is chef proprietor of Jikoni in London’s Marylebone, which she opened in 2016.

Tom Parker Bowles is an award-winning restaurant critic and food writer. He is Food Editor of Esquire, a Contributing Editor to Conde Nast Traveller and the author of eight books. He is also a regular judge on BBC 1’s Masterchef.

Ceri Butcher is Head of Development and Alumni Relations at Green Templeton College, University of Oxford, before which she was Head of External Relations for Oxford Brookes University. She is a Trustee of the OCC Trust.

Anna Klenert is an educator who has over 20 years of experience in the design, delivery and management of higher education. She is a specialist in leadership and talent development through coaching and mentoring. Anna is Secretary of the OCC Trust.

Martin Holden-White is the founder of Grubby, which aims to make cooking and eating high quality plant-based foods more accessible and convenient. Grubby has achieved rapid growth through investment and is now one of the UK’s leading food box delivery companies. Martin is Chair of the OCC Trust.





For enquires and to discuss possible applications, contact the OCC team (occ@oxfordculturalcollective.com).


In your application, submitted online, you are required to include:

  • Your contact details
  • Project title
  • Summary of project proposal (maximum 150 words).
  • Full details of project proposal (maximum 1000 words).
  • A short film recording, in which you outline your motivation, skills and experience (maximum 4 minutes).
  • Provisional budget and timetable for your planned research trip, using standard template
  • Contact details for two referees




  1. The Lou Willcock Scholarship is open to UK residents who are between eighteen and thirty-five years old, as of the closing date on 13th January 2023.
  2. Applicants must be working or studying in the fields of hospitality or gastronomy (or closely related fields).
  3. The maximum grant available is £10,000. The actual level of grant may vary depending on projected expenditure.
  4. An outline budget must be submitted as part of each application.
  5. The OCC Trust maintains the right to challenge and revise outline budgets, in consultation with winning applicant.
  6. The full grant may be released in stages, in line with planned expenditure.
  7. The OCC Trust will work with applicants to establish a system for tracking expenditure and holding receipts.
  8. The OCC Trust will work with the winning applicant to refine and adapt their project proposal, and to facilitate its implementation, so as to achieve positive outcomes.
  9. Development projects should ideally begin within six months year of the announcement of the winner (late January 2023) and be complete within two years (although some may stimulate legacy projects).
  10. The winning applicant will be required to complete a reflective review of their experience of engaging in their project, which will be placed in the public domain. The format of this review will be agreed in advance with the OCC Trust (e.g., could be written report, filmed diary, oral presentation).
  11. Decisions of the judging panel, including on eligibility and on choice of winners, will be final and they will not enter into communication about the merits of particular entries.



  • I will be in the age range 18 to 35 at the time of the closing date for submissions (13th January 2023)
  • I am a UK resident
  • I have provided my correct contact details
  • I have described my project within the required word count
  • I have recorded a short film
  • I have provided a budget
  • I have provided a timetable
  • I would love to be the successful applicant
  • I understand that the OCC Trust judges and administrators will have access to the personal data that I have provided in my application and that it will be processed to administer my application. I can ask for my data to be deleted at any time


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