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Real-life Billy Elliot needs your help

A gifted dance student is being denied the chance to fulfil a life-long ambition to go professional as he cannot afford his dance school fees and has turned to Diabetes UK for help.

Callum Daly, 19, who has Type 1 diabetes, passed a tough audition last year for a place on a year-long foundation course at the prestigious 'Performers College' in Essex. After impressing his teachers and now close to successfully completing the course, Callum has won a place on a further course at the same school to study for an advanced diploma in professional dance.

Financial assistance

The three year course, including fees, accommodation and living expenses, will cost around £40,000 – a figure Callum and his family cannot afford, especially as the foundation year has already cost £10,000. Without financial assistance before term starts in September, Callum faces the prospect of having to give up his life-long dream of joining a successful dance company.

Top of his class

Callum started dancing aged 7 and over the following ten years went to the top of his class in ballet, tap and jazz at four different evening and weekend dance schools. On top of this he obtained 10 GCSEs, three A-Levels including one in Performing Arts and Media and gained a place at Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) where he studied for four years.

Callum’s mum, Maureen, has pulled out all the stops in her attempts to find the necessary subsidy for the dance course. As letters to the Princes Trust, companies that supply diabetes medical equipment and other potential corporate sponsors have all failed, Maureen turned to Diabetes UK in the hope the charity that had often provided advice and support for Callum’s diabetes, might be able to publicise her son’s case.

Ten years of hard work

“I have always been able to support Callum through tough auditions, long hours of training and pre-performance nerves, but we are now looking at having to give up what has been over ten years of hard work", said Maureen.

“For Callum to secure a place on this course will almost certainly mean his dream ticket to a dance company in London or anywhere around the world. It’s going to be heartbreaking to have to tell him this might be the end of it all.”

If you might be able to help Callum, please contact Huw Beale at Diabetes UK Press Office on 020 7424 1152 or email huw.beale@diabetes.org.uk

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