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Top pupils praised by Duchess
1:00pm Monday 29th October 2012 in News
AMAZING pupils from a St Helens school and their teachers have won a double royal salute.
Youngsters from Penkford School were praised by The Duchess of Gloucester at this year’s O2 Young People Awards.
The Duchess enjoyed hearing about community projects undertaken by teenagers as part of O2’s Think Big project – an initiative which encourages young people to make a difference in their communities.
During the day at the O2 centre in Runcorn, she met young people from St Helens, Halton and Liverpool and heard about the projects they’ve created.
The O2 Active Award went to Willows Nurture Group from Penkford School, St Helens.
Judges were impressed with the effort and commitment of the students, who worked with a local animal rescue centre.
The school’s teaching staff were awarded the O2 Champion of Young People Award for their commitment to developing students’ future works skills through their Building Futures Project.
Community leaders, education specialists and business people judged this year’s eight award categories.
The categories covered projects which inspired young people to make a difference through art or music, education and training projects or by becoming positive role models to others.
Ann Pickering, O2’s director of human resources, said the awards would help showcase young people’s abilities and demonstrate to community leaders and future employers the benefits investing in tomorrow’s future generation would bring.
She told guests: “We believe in the power of young people and their ideas.
“As one of the biggest companies in the UK, we can back them. Invest in them. Campaign for them. Give them a platform and a voice.
“We want to change the way young people think about themselves and their communities, and in doing so, change the way young people are perceived.
“With youth unemployment stubbornly above the one million mark and competition intensifying, this summer O2 made the decision to give young people the opportunity to see the workplace first-hand.
By next month, we will have welcomed 23 graduates, 53 paid interns and 43 apprentices, 14 of who will be based here at Preston Brook.”
Under Think Big, more than 2,700 young people between the ages of 13 and 25 have received support for projects across the UK.
They have had cash and equipment to get their ideas off the ground.
O2 people have mentored them and been at the end of the phone to give support and guidance.
Many have gone on to the next stage with an additional £2,500 and face-to-face support and training.