02 December 2019

Mother crowdfunds 'Jody Gallagher Scholarship' in memory of late son

Mother crowdfunds 'Jody Gallagher Scholarship' in memory of late son

Jackie Rowan and Becka Clark

ABOVE: Jackie Rowan and Becka Clark, the first recipient of the scholarship

A mother has created a scholarship at Abertay University in memory of her late son, funded in part through donations from kind-hearted strangers.

Jackie Rowan’s son Jody Gallagher, a talented videogames artist and college lecturer, passed away in March of this year at the age of 36.

He had struggled to cope following the death of his younger brother Robert Rowan from heart failure just months earlier.

She said: “I wanted to do something to keep Jody’s name out there.

“He had a huge passion for art from an early age, and a drive to pursue it as a career. When he was eleven years old he got his first computer, and although he played games he wanted to look deeper into what made them work.

“Jody studied at Abertay in the early 2000s, and always said his time there had been very important to him. He’d been able to meet people who shared his passion and work with tutors who treated students as their equals.

“I wanted to create the scholarship to help someone who had the same passion for Computer Arts and desire to do well that Jody did.”

ABOVE: Jody Gallagher

Jackie launched a fundraising drive, including a crowdfunding campaign on the website justgiving.com.

The appeal has raised almost £3,000 of its £5,000 target to date, pulling in donations from Jody’s friends, family and work colleagues as well as complete strangers.

The total also includes £305 raised at Jody’s funeral.

Jackie added: “We had already been raising funds in Robert’s name for the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young, and as a parent I wanted to do something for Jody.

“We’ve been holding joined fundraising events, and this is something we’ll continue to do.”

“I think it’s important to acknowledge just how hard Jackie has worked to make it a reality. Her tireless drive to help people in the name of both Jody and Robert is nothing short of inspiring.” Dayna Galloway, Head of Division of Games and Arts

4th year Computer Arts student Becka Clark will receive the first ever scholarship.

She said: “I am honoured to have been awarded this scholarship, it means a lot to me. I can’t thank Jackie enough, this will make a huge difference to me as I move forward with my studies.”

Dayna Galloway, Head of Division of Games and Arts at Abertay said: “Jody was a much-loved member of the Dundee games community, and I would like to thank Jackie for this generous and meaningful scholarship.

“I think it’s important to acknowledge just how hard she has worked to make it a reality. Her tireless drive to help people in the name of both Jody and Robert is nothing short of inspiring.”

To donate to the Jody Gallagher Scholarship fund, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jodygallagher

To find out more about Cardiac Risk in the Young or to make a donation, visit: https://www.c-r-y.org.uk/

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