A YOUNG actress is looking for help to fund a full-time carer to allow her to live her dream after she won a coveted spot at the National Youth Theatre (NYT) in London.

Maya Coates, 18, from Pencaitland, is determined to forge a career in acting and her talents have already been recognised after she was accepted onto the NYT senior course in London.

The three-week intensive course will allow Maya to gain membership of the NYT and access to the opportunities it provides for roles and productions in the future.

However, Maya, who has a genetic muscle disorder which affects her spine, said she will need to find extra funds to take a full-time carer along with her for the duration of the course.

She said: “The course starts in the middle of August for three weeks and is an amazing opportunity for me to develop as an actor and gain membership onto the NYT company, which opens up a world full of acting auditions and opportunities.

“During the course I will be staying in student accommodation in London, which will be a really memorable and exciting way for me to make new friendships and learn new life skills by living away from home; however, because I will need physical help throughout the trip with my personal care and other needs, I’m going to have to employ a live-in carer to come with me to London.

“I’m also going to have to pay for an additional room in the accommodation which will more than double the amount that is normally spent on the course by an able-bodied member.

“All together, the total cost of the trip including my carer’s extra costs/wages will come to over £3,000!

“Due to the fact that these funds cannot be met by my council or the National Youth Theatre, I have resorted to setting up a GoFundMe page to try and raise funds and donations to be able to go on the trip.”

Maya, who is about to start the MGA Academy of Performing Arts in Edinburgh in September, has launched her fundraising campaign with a video in which she explains how much acting means to her.

She told the Courier: “Acting is my passion and has been from a very, very young age.

“I hope to one day achieve great success in my acting career and show that having a disability doesn’t ever stop you from achieving your dream career.

“Attending the National Youth Theatre course will help me start to make that goal into a reality.”

To support Maya, go to go fundme.com/maya-national-youth-theatre