A talented schoolboy snapped up by a prestigious performing arts school in London was on the brink of being forced to give up his studies due to lack of cash.
Dino Karakostas is currently in his second year of studying at Sylvia Young’s Theatre School after winning a scholarship last year.
But despite having most of his fees funded, he is still left to find the cash to pay the difference as well as living and eating costs and headshots needed for auditions.
The talented 12-year-old from Hartlepool, who trained at the town’s Val Armstrong School of Performing Arts, had wowed talent spotters during an open audition he had attended to gain experience.
He went on to secure a five-year scholarship with the school which has nurtured the talents of stars Emma Bunton, Denise Van Outen, Dua Lipa, Jesy Nelson and Rita Ora.
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But while Dino has found himself at home at the school, his mum Leigh Karakostas, 48, was faced with the agonising decision of having to pull her son from the school due to the high costs of keeping him there.
I thought I would have to tell Dino he couldn’t go back in September - it would have broke his heartLeigh Karakostas
That is, until she received a phone call from the Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust who offered to help her to fund Dino’s studies in London.
The charity was created as a lasting legacy to young couple Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry, from South Shields, who were killed in the Manchester Arena bomb attack, May 2017.
Their parents set up the Trust to help aspiring and talented performers and sportspeople to reach their full potential. Chloe, 17, was a gifted performer while Liam, 19 was a talented cricketer.
Leigh, from the King Oswy area of Hartlepool, said: “Dino absolutely loves the school and he is so determined, but I just didn’t know how I was going to find the money for him to continue.
“I applied to the Trust and when they called me I was in tears, I thought I would have to tell Dino he couldn’t go back in September - it would have broke his heart.
“The Trust has been our saving grace and it has given me a bit more breathing space. It was Lisa, Chloe’s mam, who had called me and we were both crying on the phone.
“What they have done with the Trust is absolutely amazing.”
Dino, who attended St John Vianney RC Primary in Hartlepool before heading to London, hopes to one day to take his studies and pave his way into becoming a comedy actor.