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Suffolk: Friendly help for RADA student

PUBLISHED: 12:34 30 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:00 06 July 2010

A TALENTED teenager popped home from one of the best drama schools in the world last weekend to receive a welcome helping hand from a local charity.

Former Journal Carnival Queen Charlotte Barker is currently studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Rada) in London.

A TALENTED teenager popped home from one of the best drama schools in the world last weekend to receive a welcome helping hand from a local charity.

Former Journal Carnival Queen Charlotte Barker is currently studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Rada) in London. But on Saturday she travelled to Southwold to receive a bursary cheque from the Friends of East Suffolk Performing Arts (FESPA) after they read about her in The Journal.

Charlotte, 18, was the youngest person accepted on the prestigious Rada foundation course, but struggled to scrape together the £11,000 required to attend the course.

After reading about her success, FESPA contacted Charlotte to invite her to apply for a bursary and agreed to give her a full £1,500 grant.

The organisation, which has evolved from the Southwold and Aldeburgh Summer Theatres, registered as a charity in 2007 with the aim of encouraging and supporting young people's education in the performing arts.

Each year it gives out three student bursaries to individual applicants, with recipients in the east coast ranging from eight to 22 years old.

On Saturday, Charlotte travelled to the Swan Hotel in Southwold to receive her bursary from FESPA chair Sidi Scott.

Mrs Scott said: “We had our attention drawn to her from the paper. It will be interesting to see what she does from here as she is talented in so many ways.

“I'd like to think we could help in the future too. No-one has applied twice before, but I see no reason why they shouldn't.”

Charlotte's mum Sonia, of Carlton Colville, said: “Charlotte is extremely grateful that FESPA have so generously supported her drama studies.”

For more information about FESPA, visit www.fespa.co.uk

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