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Cornwall's young and talented – regional fund supports our brightest and best

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 17, 2012

  • Rower Dan Clift is training for the next Olympics, thanks to the fund

  • Orchestra leader Annabel Lainchbury is coached in Penzance by virtuoso violinist Max Baillie in London, via Skype

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Cornwall's brightest and best young people have rewarded a local charity's faith in their skills by shining in their fields.

Three months ago, nearly £6,000 was distributed by Young and Talented Cornwall, The Lord Lieutenant's Fund for Youth, and the money is already making a difference.

The charity, which was set up in 2005 by Lady Mary Holborow, who was then Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall, and Vice-Lord Lieutenant Michael Galsworthy, aims to help young people who've shown outstanding aptitude in sport or the arts but whose development is being affected by personal or family hardship, or disability.

One recipient was Annabel Lainchbury, whose violin skills have been enhanced with the aid of some modern technology. The 19-year-old from Penzance is a talented violinist but was finding the cost of travelling regularly from Penzance to London to be coached by virtuoso violinist Max Baillie prohibitive.

In her second grant from the fund in two years, the Young and Talented Cornwall fund has allowed Annabel and her mentor to use the free Skype internet video link system.

The teenager said: "It's been absolutely incredible. I wouldn't have been able to have the lessons without the fund's help. It's been such a relief to have their support."

Annabel is leader of the Penzance Youth String Orchestra and a former co-leader of the Cornwall Youth Orchestra. She teaches a group of young musicians every Wednesday and plans to set up workshop sessions for young string players to give young people the experience of playing together before joining an orchestra.

Annabel's Penzance violin teacher Tim Boulton said: "Annabel's natural musical leadership has continued to be of great value to herself and the group she plays with.

"Her work teaching young students has been exemplary."

Another recipient is rower Dan Clift, who has been able to concentrate on the training he needs to compete at international level thanks to the fund. The 24-year-old, from Torpoint, has now been able to adopt a more flexible working pattern.

"The real issue was recovering from training sessions," he said. "Working after training seriously inhibited this."

Dan was picked for the GB Rowing Team Start Programme which identifies potential competitors for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

He has won the National Under-23 Single Sculls Championships after just eight months of rowing and hopes to follow in the footsteps of Helen Glover, the Cornish rower who scooped gold at this summer's Olympics and previously was supported by the fund.

"I am a Cornish boy who's proud of the county and intend to be the best ambassador possible for our area," said Dan.

The fund has also supported golfer Sam Church, 16, from Saltash, enabling him to buy a rangefinder that takes the guesswork out of measuring distances on a golf course.

In just four years of playing golf, Sam has won the Cornwall Under-14 Championships, come second in the Under-16 Championships and earlier this year won the Under-18 Junior European Championships in Andalusia.

The fund is administered by the Cornwall Community Foundation and anyone requiring more information can call 01566 779333.

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