Apollo Studio Academy lauded for changing lives

At a unique regional awards ceremony, Apollo Studio Academy in Peterlee have been recognised for their outstanding work in changing lives through the youth movement National Citizen Service (NCS).

Beating off stiff competition from 34 County Durham schools, Apollo Studio Academy scooped a NCS North East Star School Award, which was presented to Principal Sally Hudson by Elonie West, 16, a student at the school and graduate of the scheme.

Sally Hudson said: “It’s brilliant to receive this award which recognises that the school has embraced NCS as part of our commitment to helping pupils maximise their potential.

“It is thrilling that so many of our pupils have benefited from NCS and we look forward to getting even more young people involved in this life-changing scheme going forward.”

Jessica Taplin, CEO of vInspired, who deliver the NCS contract in the North East in partnership with National Youth Agency (NYA) and twelve local delivery partners from the voluntary and community sector, including East Durham College and University of the First Age (UFA), said: “A huge well done to staff and students at Apollo Studio Academy. The school has shown real commitment and we look forward to continuing our work together to make sure that NCS continues to benefit local people and communities.”

A dozen leadership teams from schools across the region attended the NCS North East Schools Awards 2016. They were joined by decision makers from the education, youth and voluntary sectors – showcasing local commitment to maximising the benefits of the government-backed programme for young people in County Durham and beyond.

In total, twelve schools, one from each local authority in the region, picked up an award in recognition of their successes in empowering their pupils to take part in the transformative scheme.

Held behind the scenes at Beamish Museum, scores of teenagers made the exclusive event a success by hosting, handing out awards and networking with influential guests.

NCS graduate Harriet Shaw, 19, compered the evening alongside Joe Johnson, 17, and said: “This really shows what NCS is all about. Young people making a real difference.”

Also speaking at the event were members of Team Brah, an award winning group of young people, who have continued their LGBTQ awareness-raising campaign since kick-starting the project on NCS in 2015.

Emma Ramshaw, an inspirational NCS team leader, spoke movingly about how the programme had changed her life.