Thirteen schools, three colleges and one exceptional staff member have been praised for their outstanding work in changing lives through the youth movement National Citizen Service (NCS).

The NCS North East Star Schools Awards 2017 recognised the support and commitment that schools provided to the government-backed scheme during the past academic year.

Twelve of the schools, one from each local authority in the region, picked up a Star School award in recognition of their successes in encouraging their pupils to take part in the transformative scheme. Each had been the school from their local authority area which sent the biggest proportion of their year 11 group on the transformative scheme during the summer

NCS North East Star School award winners;

County Durham – Durham High School for Girls

Darlington – Carmel College

Gateshead – Emmanuel College

Hartlepool – Dyke House Sports & Technology College

Middlesbrough – Acklam Grange School

Newcastle upon Tyne – Newcastle High School for Girls

North Tyneside – Kings Priory School

Northumberland – Bede Academy

Redcar & Cleveland – Rye Hills Academy

South Tyneside – Harton Academy

Stockton-on-Tees – Our Lady & St Bede Catholic Academy

Sunderland – Grindon Hall Christian School

With school support, almost 4,000 of the region’s teenagers were empowered to make change in their communities through NCS during the summer.

Gavin Clark, from Emmanuel College, said: “Having been named the National Citizen Service’s first regional Ambassador School in 2016, Emmanuel College is delighted to continue to develop student engagement and participation in NCS. In 2016-17, 54% of our year 11 students participated in NCS, volunteering their help and support in setting such as old people’s homes, and serving in their nominated roles after completing their GCSE exams. The College wholeheartedly supports the vision of NCS and to bring about change through social enterprise. It was an inspiring evening, hosted with great aplomb by the NCS graduates.”

Newcastle College, East Durham College and Sunderland College were also highlighted for enabling their students to access the NCS autumn programme.

Egglescliffe School’s careers coordinator Rachel Pascoe was presented the NCS Personality award by NCS Trust Chair Stephen Greene. She was nominated by NCS recruitment coordinator Katie McLuskey, who said: “Nothing is ever too much trouble for Rachel, and she always wants the best for her students. She is a fantastic advocate for NCS and deserved the award for the dedicated work she has shown.”

A Regional Ambassador School award was presented to Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy. The school had gone above and beyond in promoting NCS to students and parents, and it was their commitment to place further volunteering opportunities into the ethos of their school that earned them the accolade.

Held in the Great Hall at the Discovery Museum, Newcastle, 16 year old NCS graduates Harry Twohig and Madison Cooper compered the evening with other graduates making the exclusive event a success by organising proceedings, handing out awards and networking with influential guests. Another NCS graduate, Emmaleigh Poulton, entertained guests with a stunning musical rendition.

Ben Houchen, elected Mayor of the Tees Valley Combined Authority, who contributed to sponsoring the occasion, said: “I am delighted to see so many schools in Tees Valley engaging in the NCS programme and more importantly the high numbers of young people that benefit directly from the exciting and inspiring programme of activities.  The young people are truly inspiring in what they undertake and achieve during their time on NCS.”

Jessica Taplin, CEO of V•Inspired, who deliver the NCS contract across the North East in partnership with National Youth Agency (NYA) and thirteen local delivery partners from the voluntary and community sector, said: “It was a pleasure to spend the evening celebrating the achievements of dedicated schools and the amazing pupils who seized the opportunity to learn new skills and contribute so much in support of local charities.”

Year 11 students can now book their own unmissable NCS experience. Taking place next summer, the programme includes time away at an outdoor adventure centre, a stay in university-style accommodation and the chance for teens to give back to their local community. Visit NCSYES.co.uk or call 0191 247 4020 to find out more.

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