More young people follow their dreams thanks to the Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust
An autistic youngster is being given a helping hand to further his musical talents - thanks to a South Tyneside-based charity.
Rhys Stokes, 10, is on the autistic spectrum and has trouble with social interaction and would struggle if he got answers wrong to questions in school.
However, after being introduced to music by his parents he has found his passion and natural talents playing the trumpet.
He has already achieved his grade 5 certificate in the instrument and often plays with more senior members of a brass band.
The youngster, from Doncaster, was awarded a bursary from the Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust to help fund music books and equipment.
Dad Nick said: “When he found out he had received a bursary from the Trust for his books he was over the moon. He was really excited.
“He has such potential and even though he is only 10, he is looking at a great career in music.”
He is one of a number of teenagers who are being supported to achieve their performance or sporting dreams with the help of the charity.
Trampoline-star in the making Martin Bland is being supported on his way to the top by the Trust.
The 15-year-old trains at Apollo Trampoline Club, in Washington, five times a week.
Last year, he won golds in three national competitions, achieved silver representing England in Frivolten, Sweden, silver at the British Championship Finals in Birmingham and brought home three golds when he competed in the North of England Competition in the Boys, Mens and Syncro Age groups.
This year, he has set his sights on winning a place on the Great Britain Junior Trampoline Team. If he makes it, he will have the chance to be chosen for the “World Age Games” in Japan where some of the worlds best trampolinists compete.
Martin said: “I would like to thank all the Coaches at Apollo Trampoline Club in Washington for their hard work and dedication in helping me achieve his goals and also to The Chloe & Liam Foundation for supporting me.”
The Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust was created as a lasting legacy to the teenagers who were killed in the Manchester Arena bomb attack in May 2017.
It was set up by their parents as a way of helping young performers and sportspeople to reach their potential - something the couple were robbed a chance of.
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Chloe was a talented performer while Liam was a gifted cricketer.
Young carer Jay Jobartah has been supported by the Trust for a second time as he continues his studies at the prestigious performing arts school The Hammond.
Dubbed a “real life Billy Elliot” the 14-year-old, who began dancing at the age of 10, was invited to study at the school following a workshop.
However, with no scholarships available, it is left to his family to find the cash to keep him there.
This is the second time the charity has stepped in to help Jay to continue his dream and further nurture his talents in dance.
His mum Louise said: “Jay is doing really well and his confidence is really coming out.
“We never wanted to apply again, but he is loving what he is doing so much. When they said they would help again, we couldn’t believe it.
“He is so thankful for the way the Trust is supporting him. He always things about Chloe and Liam when he does his performances.
Skier Hannah Skinner is also being supported by the charity as she lives out her dream sport on the slopes.
The talented 12-year-old, who was introduced to the sport two-years-ago, is currently being trained in Austria after being chosen to hone her skills at a dedicated training camp.
The schoolgirl, from Hexham, is being supported in her venture by the trust which has helped fund her latest trip.
Mum Katie said: “It is such an expensive sport, so we are so delighted the Trust has stepped in to help.
“She wrote down on the application form exactly how skiing makes her feel - she feels very lucky.
“We follow the Chloe and Liam page on Facebook and what they are doing, helping so many young people - it’s just amazing.”
Others also being supported by the trust include dancer Amy Becke. Chloe Weston and Ju Jitsu competitor Ellis Younger.