Northumbria student Josh Wilkinson has landed a starring role as co-host of a new online mini-series showcasing the impact The National Lottery funding has had on Sunderland.
The 24-year-old, who is studying on the Entrepreneurial Business Management (EBM) course at Newcastle Business School, auditioned for the part and was chosen ahead of 25 other applicants. The mini-series, which will cover good causes across Wearside that have benefited from National Lottery funding, has already seen Josh take to the streets of Sunderland with a camera crew and a local yet-to-be-named celebrity to meet and interview some of the city’s inspirational people who are behind these amazing initiatives.
Four episodes have already been finished and will launch in January 2019.
EBM students at Northumbria are required to start up and run their own businesses, and Josh believes this learning experience helped him impress the The National Lottery panel and secure the role.
He explained: “The EBM course is very much about learning by doing, and it has given me the confidence and ability to talk with people and really put myself out there – and have the courage to pursue something I have wanted to do for a long time. I saw the opportunity to present this mini-series and had to go through a round of interviews and a screentest to reach a final shortlist of five local people. Thankfully I was then chosen as one of the hosts.
“Working with the production company has been an incredibly valuable experience, which I hope will lead to similar opportunities in the future. I've also learned so much about the great schemes that The National Lottery has helped fund in my local area of Sunderland.”
Last year, The National Lottery invested more than £15 million into projects across Sunderland and it has funded more than 1,800 good causes in the area since 1994. These include Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, which received £3.8 million via the Heritage Lottery Fund to create a tropical paradise in the heart of the city, and the National Glass Centre which received £6.9 million from Arts Council England for its construction.
Jonathan Tuchner, Director, National Lottery Good Causes, said Josh captivated the team with his "confidence and impressive storytelling".
Lucy Hatt, Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Strategy at Northumbria, added: “We are all really excited for Josh. It is an example of the enterprise, drive and ambition demonstrated by our students, and why it is such a stimulating place to learn and teach.
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