NCTJ raises more than £1,500 for Thomas Read bursary in sponsored walk

A team of NCTJ staff members and supporters walked 15km to raise money for the Thomas Read bursary, helping people with disabilities train as journalists.

The sponsored walk, which started and ended at the NCTJ’s offices in Newport, Essex, took place on Saturday, 4 August.

The NCTJ was joined by Carolyn and Kevin Read, who set up the bursary in honour of their son Thomas Read, who died unexpectedly in 2015, aged 25.

Thomas was an inspirational young journalist who, in spite of his cerebral palsy, achieved a substantial amount in the industry in a short space of time.

Each year the bursary is awarded to at least one Journalism Diversity Fund recipient who has a long-term illness, health problem or disability and demonstrates the qualities embodied by Thomas: a passion for journalism, a determination to succeed and the ability to overcome adversity.

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

Rory, who was awarded the bursary in 2017 and studied towards his NCTJ-accredited MA at Cardiff University, said: “Thanks to the Thomas Read bursary I received world-class journalism training and secured my first media job as a financial journalist.

“As someone with a specific learning difficulty, I wouldn’t have been able to get as far as I did without the help of the JDF and the Thomas Read bursary, but thanks to their commitment to opening up journalism as a career for everyone, regardless of their disability or background, I, and no doubt countless others in the future, will be able to make their mark as journalists.”

After the long walk, everyone who took part enjoyed afternoon tea at the NCTJ offices, with homemade cakes baked by NCTJ staff members. A celebratory dinner also took place in the evening.

The NCTJ has raised more than £1,500 in donations so far, and would like to thank everyone who has made a contribution.

The sponsorship page is still open here for those who would like to make a donation.