A NORTH WALES student has been awarded a prestigious bursary from the Royal Television Society.
Former Coleg Cambria learner Ben Ledsham applied for the prize earlier this year and was “shocked and relieved” to have been among the 30 people selected from across the UK.
The 21 year-old, from Coedpoeth near Wrexham, is studying for a degree in Film Production at the University of Salford and will receive £2000 over the next two years. He plans to invest the money in new equipment, including a computer.
“It was a relief and a shock to be told I was receiving the bursary,” said Ben, a past pupil of Ysgol Clywedog.
“I wasn’t expecting it, so to return for my second year and get this good news was fantastic after what’s been a challenging time for everybody.”
Ben achieved A Levels in Film, Photography and English Language at Cambria, and an Extended Diploma in Media Production.
Having also worked on programmes at Calon FM, you would have thought he grew up wanting to work in the media, but that was not the case.
“I actually wanted to be a teacher, but after taking drama at school I fell in love with the creative process, that feeling of bouncing ideas off your fellow classmates and sharing ideas,” said Ben.
“From there I studied at Cambria and they were some of the best years of my life; the tutors were lovely and so supportive, that made up my mind this is what I want to do with my career.
“I love the environment and the opportunity to express yourself, which comes with working in the creative industries. The bursary is a big boost for me, and I look forward to seeing what lies ahead.”
Sophie Simon, a Creative Media Production lecturer at the college, congratulated Ben and said the bursary was richly deserved.
“It is no surprise that Ben is being recognised for his passion and enthusiasm for Television and Film Production,” she said.
“During his studies at Coleg Cambria he was a dedicated, motivated and highly creative student – always working on new scripts and productions, as well as undertaking extracurricular opportunities in the local industry outside of his main studies.
“Myself and my colleagues on Creative Media and Film are immensely proud of Ben’s achievement and have no doubt that we will be seeing his name in credits soon!”
In addition to the funding support received, each beneficiary will receive free membership of the Royal Television Society (RTS) while studying, with an additional year after they graduate, as well as mentoring opportunities.
The scheme aims to widen participation in, and access to, the media industry by supporting talented students pursuing careers in television.
Ashley John-Baptiste, RTS Bursary Ambassador, added: “With students starting their studies during such difficult and unique circumstances, supporting them is more crucial than ever.
“I look forward to joining the RTS in lifting up the future of our industry and supporting these talented students.”