Last night St Mary’s University, Twickenham hosted a ceremony to award the inaugural Eric Yardley Bursary to two students.
The inaugural winners were Olivia Williams-Freeman and Briony Giddings, who each collected £1,250 towards their student fees for the third year of their undergraduate Drama courses.
This is the first year of a five year commitment to the University from the trustees of the Eric Yardley estate.
“Eric was an inexhaustible champion of young people’s theatre in Richmond borough and was the founder of Youth Action Theatre which, in its near fifty-year existence, has provided free opportunities to enable thousands of local young people, including many of our own alumni, to get involved with theatre-making. He was also instrumental in fundraising and establishing the Hampton Hill Playhouse which has housed YAT productions since 1999.
"Drama St Mary’s is honoured that the trustees of Eric’s legacy fund have chosen us to be the recipients of the bursary set up in Eric’s name which will be awarded by the department to the student or students, most deserving of financial support in advance of their final year.
"Olivia and Briony thoroughly deserved their awards and I’m sure Eric would have been delighted and proud of their achievements.”
Mark Griffin, Head of Humanities