“You never stop learning.” Reggie Yates, 35, shares a life lesson he swears by as he continues to embark on his journey of documentary making, acting and television presenting. He has learnt that if you keep an open mind, “you can learn from absolutely everybody.” Golden words from someone who has met and spoken with people from all walks of life, all around the globe - from models in Siberia to prison inmates in America.

Reggie’s first aspiration was becoming an actor, and has appeared in shows such as Doctor Who and appeared as Rastamouse. However, he claims he “wasn’t nearly as good as he thought he was” and went on to pursue other ways expressing his vision on the screen. He explored “other ways of storytelling”, not necessarily as a leading man in a movie, but as a documentarian. One of the things his experience has really thought him is “the power of empathy” and why is it important to take the time to get to know people before you judge them. His empathy and genuine compassion have the power to change every watcher's world view, as he presents the incredible lives of real people with a haunting punch of authenticity. His extremely popular “Extreme Series” focuses on bringing to light existing but worryingly obscured problems, including dangerous homophobia, the troubling rise of the Russian far-right and devastating effect of drugs.

Reggie began acting at community-based drama group, founded by Anna Scher, who has a lasting impact on his life and career and helped him “channel being a show-off into being a performer. He says “there are lots of Anna Shers up and down the country” who are finding different ways of impacting their community positively and that is why he supports the Aviva community fund, because “it supports people just like Anna Sher.”

Reggie has documentaries coming out soon on BBC 2 and is imminently also going to be working in the acting space.

Reggie Yates is supporting the Aviva Community Fund which offers help and funding for inspirational causes, enabling them to build stronger communities together. Visit https://at.aviva.uk/Winners to see which projects received funding this year.