Impact case study: Jayshree Patel

No exaggeration to say that the Northern Writers Award changed everything for me. It gave me the second chance of life that I didn’t know I needed. 

Before winning a Northern Writers’ Award, Jayshree worked as a secondary school teacher. That all changed in 2016 when she won a Channel 4 Writing for Television Award. The award included a bursary of £3000 and a placement with Lime Pictures to work on Hollyoaks.

Later, she became a core member of the writing team. Jay was heavily involved in the ground-breaking far-right radicalisation storyline. Her trio of special episodes (written with Kevin Rundle) were submitted for a BAFTA. The same episodes earned Hollyoaks the title of Best Soap at the 2020 Broadcast Awards. Jay also wrote Hollyoaks’ acclaimed ‘Long Walk Home’ episode, which was produced in cooperation with the Home Office to address the issue of women’s safety. While at Hollyoaks, Jay mentored several other New Writing North Awardees during their placements – including Joshua Halm and Luke Delaney, both of whom are now core members of the writing team.

Jay currently works on Waterloo Road and has also written for Eastenders, Casualty and Holby City. She has maintained her links with education and is still passionate about working for and with young people.