Search

Actress and disability campaigner Samantha Renke ‘loves getting recognised in Shoreditch’

PUBLISHED: 11:20 16 April 2017 | UPDATED: 11:20 16 April 2017

Samantha Renke

Samantha Renke

Archant

Campaigner and star actress Samantha Renke tells the Gazette what she loves about her home in Shoreditch – even if it is on the fifth floor.

Actress and disability campaigner Samantha Renke has called Shoreditch home for five years.

“When I first moved it was a shock,” she told the Gazette. “I realised that the budget wasn’t there for people with disabilities. It’s getting better, though; people are a lot more conscious of people’s needs now.”

Samantha was born with a genetic disorder that means her bones are extremely fragile. She believed she would struggle to get work but got her break three years ago in Little Devil – a film that went on to win Best Picture at the Los Angeles diversity film festival.

Now a star of both film and TV, she is perhaps best known for her part in a Malteasers advert in 2016.

“I’ve always had a passion for acting but given my disability I didn’t think it would happen for me,” she said. “I got knocked back as a teenager and thought it wouldn’t work.

“After the film I ended up with an agent and thought: ‘I’m going to pursue a career in acting.’

“As far as I’m aware, I’m the first disabled actress to take a lead debut role and win an award for it.”

Samantha’s success has stopped her going unnoticed in the hustle and bustle of Hackney, but she’s still more than happy to share a moment with others.

“It’s lovely to be recognised,” she said. “People in this area are super friendly – all my neighbours and I look out for each other.

“You get out what you put in – if you smile at someone you get a smile back, and from that point of view I’ve never felt isolated in Hackney. It’s a friendly bunch here.”

Samantha, who lives in Old Street, is also a public face for Scope’s End the Awkward campaign. Through it, the charity educates able-bodied people about disability.

Life in Hackney isn’t always easy – the only supported housing she could find is on a fifth floor – but Samantha’s affection for it is evident.

“It’s a place to be creative – a real melting pot,” she said. “I’m exposed to a lot of different media through which I can express myself.

“But my favourite thing is the diversity.

“People don’t care that I’m in a wheelchair – everyone here is different in their own way.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hackney Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hackney Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hackney Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hackney Stories

24 minutes ago

A documentary maker and design apprentice at the town hall says he wants to be a role model for young black men in Hackney.

The 36-year-old is hoping the team can build on their last two results, but knows Macauley Bonne will be a big miss at Plainmoor

08:52

England’s women saw their Hockey World League Final gold-medal hopes shattered by a late New Zealand winner in their semi-final on Friday.

07:59

The first Test remains nicely poised after the second day of play at The Gabba, with Australia reaching 165-4 in reply to England’s first innings score of 302.

12:12

Fed up parents and their feisty kids protested outside a primary school over the chronic dangerous driving problem in Stamford Hill.

10:52

Two Lower Clapton men have been convicted of playing a part in 17 moped smash and grab raids on mobile phone stores.

A section of the London Overground network will run around-the-clock on Fridays and Saturdays from next month.

Jessica Odeleye won this year’s Fiorentini’s Got Talent show after stunning a panel of celebrity judges with her dramatic dance routine, performed to Save Me.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists