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Stormzy’s #Merky Foundation has donated £500,000 to fund further or higher education for people from underprivileged backgrounds.

The Black Heart Foundation, which received the gift, says the money will help fund a further 50 scholars.

It’s the first charity to receive major money from the £10m anti-racism fund Stormzy announced in June.

The musician said the donations – over 10 years – will go towards “supporting and strengthening” the black community.

Businessman Ric Lewis founded the Black Heart Foundation in 2000 and through the Black Heart Scholarship, launched in 2013, the charity provides funding for people of all ages who would not otherwise be able to afford higher or further education.

Recipients of the scholarship have previously used the money to cover living costs while at university rather than working while studying, to become a pilot, and to pay for drama school tuition fees.

The charity had been raising extra funds in response to the Black Lives Matter movement and had almost reached its £1m goal before the #Merky donation.

But Stormzy’s donation means 250 scholars can now be funded overall, according to Ric Lewis.

“Their contribution is an amazing testament to their vision and commitment to higher and further education for ambitious, hard-working young people from the most under-resourced and under-represented communities in our society,” he said.

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Stormzy visiting his old school in South London in 2018

The MC already has his own scholarship with Cambridge University, which funds two black students to go to the university each year.

Stormzy pledged £10m to UK organisations which seek to tackle racial inequality in June, saying “we have to fight against the odds of a racist system stacked against us”.

BBC Children In Need later announced it would match the donation.

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