Oscar-style awards for artistic foster kids

TOP AWARDS ... Coun Joan Atkinson with Customs House executive director, Ray Spencer, and the mock-up film awards.

TOP AWARDS ... Coun Joan Atkinson with Customs House executive director, Ray Spencer, and the mock-up film awards.

AN Oscar-style awards ceremony has been staged to recognise the artistic achievements of children in foster care in the borough.

The Customs House in Mill Dam, South Shields, played host to a special film premiere, showcasing the work produced by young people in South Tyneside who are in foster care.

The two films shown – ‘Guns On The Rio Tyne’ and ‘Smart Girl Vs The Aliens’ – were made by the looked-after children themselves with support from the Tyneside Cinema’s Pop-Up Film School.

Foster carers to the young people were on hand during filming to offer their advice.

As part of the awards, the children and their foster carers also took part in a range of cultural visits, such as a trip to see the musical ‘Cats’, and got involved in a series of arts activities, including drama, dance and creating their own comic book characters.

The partnership project was developed locally by The Customs House, The Project For Looked- After Children’s Education and by The Fostering Service.

Coun Joan Atkinson, the council’s lead member for children, young people and families, said: “The award programme has been a great success, and this has been shown in the body of work that was presented at The Customs House.

“It shows the high level of creativity that can be nurtured in the borough, and how a programme like this can be valued by so many people.”

Ray Spencer, executive director at The Customs House, said: “The project was a fantastic way of engaging foster families in arts opportunities in the borough, and we are thrilled that the children and their foster carers have been recognised for their achievements.

“We look forward to developing this work further in partnership with South Tyneside Council.”

Arts Award is a range of unique qualifications open to anyone up to 25, and develops creativity, leadership and communication skills through arts, cultural or media activities.

People interested in training and delivering the Arts Award programme can contact Ruth Jones on 0207 820 6178 or by e-mailing ruth.jones@artsaward.org.uk.

Further information can also be found at www.artsaward.org.uk

Twitter @shieldsgazpaul


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