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Royal College of Art? You’re Kidding!

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Hi there,

My name’s Charlie. I was born in the 1960s on Merseyside in the North West of England. My background is proudly ‘working class’ with my father a carpenter in the merchant navy and my mother a Montessori nursery nurse.

After a hard three years, post pandemic, where my design business and health suffered; along with a multitude of financial difficulties, I managed to drag myself back into the ‘real world’ and set out to do something positive.

My work using film, photography and sculpture, explores how imagery can evoke and help to heal the past. It concerns the fragility, strength and resilience of the human spirit. I’m compelled to make images that are in some way cathartic. I look for composition, atmosphere and in some sense a ‘spirituality’, which could convey a multitude of thoughts and feelings, allowing the viewer to reflect and seek their own interpretation.

I recently submitted an application to study a Photography MA at the Royal College of Art in London; a widely acclaimed institution considered to be ‘the starting point for the world’s creative leaders’. An immense challenge and something that I had not thought was possible.

To my utter surprise and somewhat relief, I got offered a place starting September 2024. No, I’m not kidding! All of my hard work and belief had paid off, I was delighted and incredibly proud of my achievement.

Once the euphoria of having been selected subsided, my current financial predicament became apparent. I’m currently surviving on a low income and money is extremely tight. I have no family left that I can turn to and loans are simply not an option. I’m therefore looking for financial support in order to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity.

The full programme’s tuition fees amount to £15,150. It turns out, that the current ruling states, that if you’re over 60 years of age, you do not get any support from Student Loans England for a Masters. A real blow! Living costs (rent, bills, food etc) are estimated at around £1,600 per month, this does not include course materials etc. A staggering amount of money, for sure. I do intend to try and bring in some income through design work, but this will depend upon the intensity of my course work, which will obviously take priority.

In the future, I would like to exhibit my work, maybe publish a book of my journey and do some lecturing. I would like to help and inspire students at all levels.

This would be a significant and life-changing step for me and something that, with your generosity, could become a reality.

Thanks for reading, sharing and for any contributions towards this venture.

Kindest Regards, Charlie


  • Harriet Day
    • £5 
    • 1 mo
  • helena rhodes
    • £25 
    • 1 mo
  • Nick Dunmur
    • £40 
    • 1 mo
  • john teasdale
    • £10 
    • 1 mo
  • Eamonn Rafferty
    • £50 
    • 1 mo

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Lesley Beale
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