CFNI's Tony McCusker (centre) with Thomas Devlin Bursary Awardee Jose Varandas (right) and his friend Isabella.
Thomas Devlin Awards celebrate bursary recipients
A celebration of the amazing impact of the Thomas Devlin Bursary Awards took place on Monday 1st October at Naughton Studio in Belfast’s Lyric Theatre.
The evening recognised the twelve young people who have been awarded bursaries in the fields of performing and visual arts.
Bursaries have enabled the young people to develop their chosen career through personal growth, education and training.
There were a number of brilliant musical and dramatic performances throughout the evening, showcasing the talents of the inspirational young people who were in receipt of the bursaries.
A special preview performance of ‘The Long Road’ by Shelagh Stephenson was held the following evening at the Lyric, with half the ticket sales being donated to the Thomas Devlin Fund.
The Thomas Devlin Fund, which distributes the bursaries, is managed and administered by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland.
Recipients of the grants have travelled all across the UK and Ireland, appearing in award winning productions such as West Side Story and Fame, as well as attending the prestigious National Youth Theatre.
Jason Nugent, who was awarded a bursary to attend the National Youth Theatre in London, said: “Due to the money I received from the Thomas Devlin fund I was able to attend a summer course at the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain.
“The summer course allowed me to meet a lot of fantastic new people and gain more confidence.
“This newly found confidence has not worn off since the summer course ended and I am now training to be a teacher and find myself using a lot of the skills learned at the National Youth Theatre in the classroom.
“I’d just like to thank the Thomas Devlin fund, for not only allowing me to access a fantastic opportunity, helping me become a fuller and more confident person through the use of drama”.
The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland’s Barbara Woods said: “We are delighted to be able to recognise the amazing achievements of the grant recipients at an event like this.
“A small grant can go a long way in making a difference in a young person’s life; the success of the Thomas Devlin Fund shows this.
“The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland is proud to be working with the Thomas Devlin Fund, making a real impact in the lives of these inspirational young people”.