North Norfolk teenager’s plea to help dreams come true

A plea has been made for anyone who can help make a talented north Norfolk teenager's dreams come true.

Zak Burbridge, 15, from Cawston, has been given a once in a lifetime opportunity to study his A-levels at the prestigious Redroofs Theatre School, the former school of famous faces including actresses Kate Winslet.

But the teenager must raise money towards the two-year course, which will cost just over �23,000 and start in September. He has been given a 20pc award towards the fees from the school, so needs to raise around �18,000.

His mum Sandra-Marie, 45, said there was no government funding they could apply for and the family themselves could not afford the fees as she has had to reduce her working hours after teaching in North Norfolk for over 25 years, as her health has deteriorated after begin diagnosed with CREST syndrome - a tissue disease.

Zak, who has an older brother, Jacob, 21, is currently seeking weekend and holiday employment to help, and is also considering a sponsored cycle ride along the Marriott's Way.

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He said: 'It would mean everything to me to go to Redroofs. The moment I stepped in to do my audition it was like being part of the family.'

His mum, who says Zak has always loved performing from a young age, said: 'I am particularly keen for Zak to study his A Levels at a Performing Arts School rather than at a state school or college as it has been an ongoing struggle for him over the years, tolerating a barrage of constant teasing and abuse.

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'His present school, Reepham High have been very supportive and have dealt with the more serious bullying very efficiently and I thank them for that.'

Last year Zak spent two weeks with the National Youth Theatre, in London after passing an audition at first attempt to become a member.

He also gave a rendition of Edith Piaf's 'No Regrets' sung in French on Cromer Pier in 2008 where he achieved overall winner in the carnival talent show.

A yard sale to raise money towards Zak's fees and also for The North Norfolk Cats Lifeline Trust is taking place in Gayford Road, Cawston, on May 1 from 10am - 4pm.

Anyone who can help with raising the fees is asked to contact the family on 01603 871475.

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