From carving wood to carving out a career in TV

Ex-carpenter and former Bournemouth & Poole College student Tom Stone is celebrating a £3,000 bursary from the Royal Television Society.

After leaving Bournemouth Grammar school Tom opted for a career in carpentry, but after seven years working in the industry he changed his focus to TV camera skills.

He then enrolled on an Access to Media Studies course at The Bournemouth & Poole College, where he gained a distinction. He’s now studying for a BA (Hons) undergraduate course in TV production at Bournemouth University.

Overjoyed with his award, Tom said: "In such a collaborative industry it’s vital to make contacts and I hope the award can help me achieve this.”

“I plan to invest the money into some decent camera equipment so I can continue to improve my practical skills over the next three years."

Tom has already experienced work on ITV Sport and made numerous short films of his own. His ambition now is to carve a career in TV drama production.

Tom’s bursary is part of the new RTS Undergraduate Bursary Scheme, and is part of a fund of £60,000 shared between 20 undergraduate students at UK universities.

Theresa Wise, Chief Executive Officer of the RTS, said: “Great talent can be lost without the right support. We’re committed to finding, funding and nurturing the next generation and through the RTS Undergraduate Bursary Scheme I am convinced that we can make a critical contribution. “

Tom was selected by a panel of industry professionals following an open call to students applying for UK undergraduate courses in television and related media.

His award will also give him access to mentoring and free membership of the RTS during his studies and for one year after graduation. The award includes three year’s access to The Hospital Club, a member’s only club catering exclusively to the creative industries.

Jacqui Kitcher, Head of Media at the College said: “We are delighted for Tom. It’s always a brave decision for people to come back into education and try to find a new sense of direction which is what Access courses offer people.”