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Part-time training subsidised for 230 youngsters last year

At a time when it is very difficult for some people to afford performing arts classes for their children, it is encouraging to find a provider who has found a way of helping.

That is why, a year ago, I happily reported here that Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and the Tottenham Grammar School Foundation had set up The Haringey Young People’s Bursary scheme to support young people (aged 11-24) from the borough of Haringey who are interested in the performing arts.

The bursary scheme helps pay the fees so that local young people can participate in a diverse programme of part-time performing arts courses including acting, musical theatre, film making and street dance at Mountview.

Well, one year into the scheme the good news is that it seems to have surpassed all expectations. Mountview has provided me with some figures.

In the autumn term (September 2010), 33 bursaries were applied for and awarded. By the summer term (May 2011), 107 bursaries were applied for and awarded. In total, over 230 bursaries have been awarded during the past year.

That seems to me to be a pretty positive outcome. A large number of young people and children have been enabled to dip a toe in the water. Without this scheme they would not have had this opportunity.

Even better news, perhaps, is that Mountview is continuing the partnership with the Tottenham Grammar School Foundation so that more bursaries will be available during this academic year.

“The bursary scheme has completely transformed the part-time courses at Mountview,” says Eddie Gower, Mountview’s Head of Community Outreach and Professional Development. “Drama training is now accessible to all young people from the borough of Haringey who, in the past, may have been excluded owing to financial restrictions.”

Evening and weekend courses for both adults (17+) and young people (6-18) cover a wide range of disciplines including Acting, Musical Theatre, TV & Film, and Street Dance. Each bursary is considered on an individual need basis. Tuition fee discounts, ranging from 30% - 100%, are awarded as necessary.

During the last 21 years the Tottenham Grammar School Foundation has provided over £17 million in grants and awards to students and to local schools, colleges and other charities.

Jo Hamlyn has further details about Mountview’s part-time programme and information for anyone wanting to apply for a Haringey bursary. Call 020 8826 9217 or www.mountview.org.uk.

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