A NORTH-EAST photographic student has been chosen to take portraits of celebrities in London as part of the acclaimed Wembley to Soweto programme.

In 2012, Joel Faddy, 22, from Gateshead, was one of only two people selected by the programme to be part of a training course run with Newcastle United

"Having held a season ticket at St. James for 10 years, I was overwhelmed to be working pitch side, close to the players and to be able to photograph the team I’d always supported from a far," he said.

"It was a day I will never forget – not least because Newcastle magnificently won against Liverpool. 

"The skills I acquired from working so closely with the team who run this project, the support I was given by the professionals and the confidence I found can’t be measured." 

As part of the latest assignment Mr Faddy was invited to photograph Tristan Gemmill, star of The Bodyguard in the West End and Michelle Fairley, best known for her role in TV smash hit series Game of Thrones and 24.

The Wembley to Soweto project provides underprivileged young people with photographic training, work experience and life-skills to enable them to not only change their own lives but to positively contribute to the society in which they live.

The next teaching course will train young people from the favelas of the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo and is set to take place against the backdrop of the World Cup later this year. The programme requires £20,000 to train 10 youngsters over a course of a month.

Wembley to Soweto was launched by actor and producer David Westhead, star of BBC comedy W1A.

He said: "We are fortunate to be able to offer extraordinary experiences that excite young people and build their confidence but we passionately believe an ounce of action is worth a ton of theory so it was always our intention to provide on-the-job training but the courses need funding so we hope these celebrity photographs will raise the cash to help more young people change their lives."