Kensington and Chelsea College Students Win First Ever UK Bursary Backing Disabled Media Talent
Two students from Kensington and Chelsea College were awarded the first ever UK bursary supporting disadvantaged and disabled people to develop careers in the media.
Winners Jack Townsend and Oliver Wilkinson each received £1000 through the bursary, which was created under an innovative partnership between Turner Broadcasting and Leonard Cheshire Disability.
Both students studied media courses run by the college through the Ability Media Centre (AMC) set up by Leonard Cheshire Disability.
The pioneering London based centre runs a range of accredited courses in television, film, radio and animation on behalf of Kensington and Chelsea College, and equips young people with the training and skills needed to make it in the media industry.
Speaking about his win Jack Townsend, 18, from Bermondsey, London said:
‘I was speechless when I heard the news; I never dreamed I’d get the bursary! I’m severely dyslexic and dyspraxic, and throughout school my teachers would assume I was just being lazy and sideline me. ‘
‘It happened so much that I just got used to being treated that way – then I went to the AMC. It changed my life; I met trained staff who could never give too much time to teaching me and gave me the skill and confidence to apply for the bursary.’
Jack is planning to set up a production company and will use the bursary to fund his first film camera.
Oliver Wilkinson, who suffers from a damaged lymphatic system following a car crash in his late teens, was also thrilled on discovering his bursary win.
The budding TV presenter from Canonbury, London said:
‘I’ve so many plans for spending the money; I’m going to invest in some top quality media business skills training, and improve my website.’
‘Equally important, Turner Broadcasting will give me the contacts to help build up my TV presenting work. I’m absolutely delighted!’
Kensington and Chelsea College Principal, Mike Jutsum, said:
‘This is where diversity gets real, and we get to see students succeed in reaching media industry standards in partnership with skilled tutors at the Ability Media Centre.’
Nick Hart of Turner Broadcasting, the company behind channels including CNN and Cartoon Network, added:
‘We felt strongly there was a need to increase the representation of disabled people in the workforce and embarked on this partnership to make this happen.’
The winners were selected after being interviewed by an expert panel and presented with their bursary by Principal Mike Jutsum and Turner Broadcasting’s Nick Hart.
Date published: 17 October 2011