Godmanchester youngster launches fundraising appeal after being offered place at two leading performing arts schools

Harriet Lawrance has to raise £33,000

Harriet Lawrance has to raise £33,000 - Credit: Archant

A schoolgirl from Godmanchester has launched a fundraising appeal after winning places at two leading performing arts schools.

Harriet Lawrance, who is a student at Hinchingbrooke School, has been offered places at the famous Italia Conti Performing Arts Academy and the prestigious Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, ahead of stiff competition and through a rigorous audition process, but needs to raise £30,000 to be able to attend. Harriet has been successful in gaining some of funding from one of the schools’ scholarship funds, however she won’t be able to accept either place due to lack of additional funding.

Harriet has danced avidly for the last nine years and, with the dedication of committed parents and teachers, has achieved accolades including representing Team England at the Dance World Cup, being titled Huntingdonshire dancer of the year 2018, becoming an All England champion, winning numerous other competition awards and gaining exceptional dance exam results in ballet, tap, modern, national dance and classical Greek.

Harriet also takes extra-curricular LAMDA acting and musical theatre classes at Hinchingbrooke School where she currently attends.

Harriet’s mother, Katie, works as a freelance dance teacher and her father, Mark, works for a software company. She has a brother, Lewis, 14, who also attends Hinchingbrooke School.

Katie said: “We are so proud of all of Harriet’s achievements and she has beaten the odds to be offered a place at not one, but two world-class performing arts schools. Her commitment and dedication have paid off and this has been a dream come true for her, but to now not be able to accept either place is, in all honesty, quite heart-breaking. She is absolutely determined to have a career in acting or musical theatre, and there is no comparable training in the state school system. We have spent months researching funding opportunities, but it’s just not there in the sums that Harriet needs – the government no longer funds such courses, and we’re finding that although some charities and organisations cater for families that receive state benefits, there is nothing out there to support our particular financial circumstances – we both work but have no savings or adequate disposable income. We simply cannot afford the fees which feels wholly unfair on Harriet. We are of course extremely thankful for the help that we have been offered so far, but if anyone would like to help us further we would be so grateful.”

A boarding place at Tring Park costs in the region of £33,000 per year.

Most Read

A day-place at Italia Conti costs in the region of £15,000 per year, with further finance needed for travel to London every day.

If you would like to support Harriet and help her to train at one of these schools, please contact katie@katielawrancedance.com, or visit Harriet’s crowd funding page at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/harriet-lawrance-tring.