Dawn Sturgess Bursary launched

PRODUCTION company Dancing Ledge and Wiltshire Creative have announced the launch of a new bursary, set up in memory of Dawn Sturgess, who died after coming into contact with the nerve agent Novichok at Salisbury.

The bursary, created in partnership with Dawn’s parents, has been set up to help young creative people from the area achieve their full potential.

The bursary, open to permanent Wiltshire residents aged 18-25 with an accepted offer for a full-time acting course in a UK drama school in spring 2022, will provide one budding acting student with funding of up to £30,000 towards their living costs while studying. Applications for the bursary will open in March 2022.

Dawn Sturgess (pictured)  died aged 44 on 8th July, 2018, after coming into contact with the Novichok, which had been used to poison former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. The public health crisis and criminal investigation following the poisonings was the subject of The Salisbury Poisonings, Dancing Ledge’s drama based on first-hand accounts and interviews with people caught up in the tragedy.

The idea of the bursary came from Dawn’s parents. Her father, Stan Sturgess approached Dancing Ledge and Wiltshire Creative. He says: “We want to help young people achieve their hopes and dreams. Dawn always said to her kids to dream big. When me and Gracie visited the set of The Salisbury Poisonings and met the little girl [Sophia Alley] who played her, it was a really moving moment. You could see how hard Sophia and her family were working to achieve her acting dreams – young people need all the help they can get. And in a few years’ time it’ll be wonderful to see how Dawn’s bursary has allowed young people to achieve their dreams.”