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NCTJ staff raise £1,200 for bursary to help disabled journalists

A team of NCTJ staff members and supporters has raised more than £1,000 for a bursary which helps people with disabilities train as journalists.

The staff undertook a 15k sponsored walk in aid of the Thomas Read bursary, which is awarded annually to at least one Journalism Diversity Fund recipient who has a long-term illness, health problem or disability.

Sky journalist Thomas, who had cerebral palsy, died unexpectedly in 2015 at the age of 25.

The NCTJ was joined by his parents Carolyn and Kevin Read, who set up the bursary.

NCTJ group

Four previous bursary recipients – Rory Claydon, Nicola Kenton, Connor Parker and Gemma-Louise Stevenson – also joined the fundraising efforts on the day.

Gemma-Louise, who was the first recipient of the bursary in 2015 and studied at St Mary’s University, now works as a freelance reporter covering para-sport for Sky Sports and is the ‘voice of para-sport’ for GiveMeSport Women.

She said: “It’s impossible to put into words how life-changing receiving the Thomas Read bursary was for me and how much it’s allowed me to achieve.

“We desperately need more disabled talent represented in our newsrooms and the bursary helps remove the financial barriers that sometimes get in the way.

“I always love heading back and supporting their fundraising events in the hope that the money raised will help another young journalist as much as it has helped me.”

The NCTJ has raised more than £1,200 in donations so far, and further contributions can be made here.