Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust helps dancer to continue his dream
A young carer dubbed a 'real life Billy Elliot' is being given a helping hand to follow his dancing dream, thanks to the legacy of a much-loved South Tyneside couple.
Jay Jobarteh, 13, has become the latest recipient of a bursary from the Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust.
The talented teenager is currently a pupil at the prestigious performing arts school The Hammond, but his family need to constantly raise funds to keep him there.
After hearing of his talents and his plight the Trust - set up following the deaths of Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry - stepped in to provide him with a £2,000 bursary to help cover some of his fees.
Jay’s grandmother Julie Sanyang said: “What the Trust has done is amazing. The money they have given him will pay for a term, and helps us so much.
“It allows us some breathing space to continue to fundraise to help keep him at the school, as we would hate to have to take this opportunity away from him.
“We had hoped when he was offered a place he would be given a scholarship, but none were available with him being in Year 9, so we have to fundraise.
“Jay has been a young carer looking after his mum for a number of years, but we all knew he needed to do something for himself and this was it.
“He loves to dance and he is often told he has a natural talent for it - especially ballet. He is known as a real-life Billy Elliot.”
Jay, who lives in County Durham, started dancing at the age of 10 after following in his younger brother Tye’s footsteps into street dance.
He went onto become crowned the under-12s World Champion for beginners in Glasgow when he turned 11.
Never having danced the genre of ballet, it didn’t fail to stop him from auditioning for the role of Billy Elliot.
He was up against 10,000 boys for the role and made it down to the last 32, despite having no ballet experience.
Following a workshop he was invited to audition for a place at The Hammond. But with no scholarship available it was left to his family to find the cash to fund his fees.
A bursary from the Durham City Foundation Trust for Talented Individuals has led to only half the school fees needing to be found for each term.
Julie added: “We can’t thank the Trust enough. What they do is amazing.
“To lose a child in such circumstances, but for them to turn it round and help other kids, its amazing.”
Chloe, 17, and Liam, 19, died when they were caught up in the Manchester Arena terror attacks in May.
The Trust aims to help nuture the talents of aspiring sportspeople and performers to enable them to fulfil their potential - a chance Chloe and Liam were robbed of.
Chloe was a talented performer while Liam was a keen cricketer.
For information on the Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust and to apply for one of the bursaries available visit the Chloe & Liam Together Forever Trust on Facebook.