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Lou Willcock Scholarship 2024




Secure a grant of £5000 and a professional mentor for one year, to enable completion of a delf-designed project that supports your personal and professional development and makes a positive contribution to industry or society. 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 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.

Project proposal should have a strong social or cultural purpose, designed to benefit others. The OCC Trust encourages applications from those representing a diverse range of social and cultural backgrounds.

The winner of the Lou Willcock Scholarship will receive a grant of £5000 mentoring support from one of the OCC Trustees, for a period of one year.

The scholarship submission deadline is 12 noon on 31st August 2024. 

The shortlist will be published mid-September 2024, and the winner announced at an awards reception in early October (dates tbc). 


The Judges


Members of the judging panel are (from left):

Ceri Butcher, OCC Trustee and Head of Development and Alumni Relations, Green Templeton College, University of Oxford.

Polly Russell, Head of the Eccles Centre for American Studies, British Library; co-founder of British Library Food Season, food historian; FT columnist; and broadcaster.

Melissa Thompson, food and drink writer; author; broadcaster; and co-founder of British Library Food Season.

Dipti Patel, OCC Trustee; and Commercial Finance Director, OCS UK.


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.

Your entry





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

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




THE ‘SMALL PRINT’ (terms and conditions)

  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 31st August 2024.
  2. Applicants must be working or studying in the fields of hospitality or gastronomy (or closely related fields).
  3. An outline budget must be submitted as part of each application.
  4. The OCC Trust maintains the right to challenge and revise outline budgets, in consultation with winning applicant.
  5. The full grant may be released in stages, in line with planned expenditure.
  6. The OCC Trust will work with applicants to establish a system for tracking expenditure and holding receipts.
  7. 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.
  8. The development project should ideally begin within six months of the announcement of the winner (October 2024) and be complete within two years.
  9. 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).
  10. Decisions of the judging panel, including on eligibility and on choice of winner, will be final and The Trust will not enter into communication about the merits of particular entries.


With special thanks to our sponsors

Tim West, Robin Sheppard and the Russell Partnership

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