THE receptionist at Blackburn’s Youth Zone has been named as a regional finalist in a journalism competition.

Francesca Dean is one of the Granada finalists in the ITV News Breaking Into News initiative, designed to promote diversity in broadcast journalism.

Under the professional mentoring of both Sarah Rogers and Anna Youssef for ITV Granada, Francesca, who has cerebral palsy, is now in the process of creating a TV news report aimed at raising awareness of the importance of youth zones which may even be shown on ITV Granada News.

Francesca said: “In my report I want to interview young people, staff, parents/carers on why they enjoy being able to access a full itinerary of activities and what the youth zone network means to them.

“Also in the report, I would look at the statistics proven to decrease rates of anti-social behaviour, isolation and boredom when visiting a youth zone.

“Finally, I hope to give viewers an insight into my current job role at Blackburn Youth Zone, the importance of finding employment with a disability and why it is so important to give others with a condition, such as the one I have, the ability to speak up for what they believe in.”

Along with nine other finalists from ITV news regions across the UK, Francesca will present her final news report to a panel of judges.

One lucky finalist will be selected and will be awarded with £400 worth of journalistic equipment and the chance to have their local news report aired on ITV.