DISTINGUISHED Bury-born chef Mary-Ellen McTague is to help young people across the region find their dream careers.

The award winning chef has become one 90 speakers, from famous faces to our invaluable key workers, to sign up to give inspirational talks to Greater Manchester state school pupils as part of a new initiative.

The project has been created by GM charity State Talking to offer pupils relatable role models who will give short talks about how they made it in their chosen fields.

The charity's founder, Frances Kennedy, said: "Students at state schools don't get the same extra-curricular benefits as privately educated kids, who can be privy to an ever-spinning carousel of visits from business, science, arts, media and sports stars.

"I set up State Talking in order to facilitate meaningful contact between relatable, state-educated professionals, representing every sector, and school students across Greater Manchester.

"Other school speaker agencies exist, but their talking heads are often privately-educated and London-based. As Tony Wilson said, we do things differently here.

"We want to showcase the amazing opportunities there are right here in Manchester. Pupils from deprived areas are unlikely to leave the city and I want to show them that this doesn't need to limit their horizons. There are so many options in so many sectors on their doorstep."