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News Report Page 6 of 24
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Creative Academy finale showcases talents of Liverpool young people

TALENTED Liverpool youngsters perform after completing Sale Sharks Community Trust's 'Creative Academy' programme. 10 young people stepped out of their comfort zones to participate in a range of performing arts, thanks to the help of Liverpool creative academy MD Productions.  Community Trust and MD Productions now recruiting their next group of young people to join the programme in September 2018.

A talented group of young people from Merseyside stepped out of their comfort zone and onto the stage, as they showcased their performing skills after completing a groundbreaking creative programme run by Premiership Rugby side Sale Sharks.

The 10 young people took part in the:- 'Creative Academy' programme run by the club's charitable arm, the Sharks Community Trust, in partnership with nationally acclaimed MD Productions. And to mark the end of the programme's  1st intake, they put on a special performance, showing off their singing and dancing talents in front of an invited audience.

The  1st group of participants in the programme, which launched at MD's newly refurbished Tapestry building in Liverpool in January, come from a range of challenging circumstances. And for many, joining the programme marked the  1st time they had ever been in a studio let alone perform on stage.

"Every 1 of the young people who have taken part in the Creative Academy is a genuine inspiration to us all. What they have achieved in a relatively short space of time is amazing. Everyone comes from completely different backgrounds, they have faced their own challenges, but through this programme they have also shown incredible bravery, talent and a true appetite to succeed." said Miguel Doforo, MD Productions Creative Director and founder of the acclaimed performing arts centre.

MD Productions was established in 2001 by Miguel Doforo, after he found that his home City of Liverpool lacked the facilities to experiment and express creatively.

Since January, Miguel and his team have been working with the Sharks Community Trust team to tutor the participants; based around the Liverpool region; in a range of creative arts, including DJing, dance and filmmaking.

Community coaches have also been helping the young people learn a range of new employability skills, including qualifications in maths and English.

Sale Sharks Community Rugby coach, John Travena, added:- "MD Productions is a genuine phenomenon in the arts, and Miguel and the team have been a fantastic support partner on this programme. They have given the young people a safe space to express themselves creatively whilst also enabling them to gain valuable insight and education to prepare them for the world of work. The results speak volumes and the new found confidence many of the young people have gained after taking part in the programme really do show that."

Sharks Community Trust and MD Productions are now on the look out for a  2nd group of young people to join the Creative Academy in September.

If any young people are interested in taking part they can contact John Travena via email.  For more information on the work of Sale Sharks Community Trust, visit:- SaleSharks.Com or call:- 0161 667 7518.

Top Gear; 2 youngsters from the Wirral make the final of national driving competition

AN 11 and a 14 year old from the Wirral will take part in the national final of a driving competition; despite being several years away from getting a licence. Luke Dundas, 11, from Willaston, and Joe Jones, 14, from Neston will take part in the Young Driver Challenge 2018, as part of a group of 40 finalists who are all aged between 10 and 17. The Young Driver Challenge final takes place on 22 September 2018, at the Fire Service College, at Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, where emergency services' drivers are taught their skills. Twenty finalists will compete in each of 2 categories; 10 to 13 and 14 to 16 years.

The Challenge is run by Young Driver, the country's largest provider of pre-17 driving tuition. The scheme has delivered more than 550,000 lessons with fully qualified instructors in dual controlled Vauxhall Corsas at 60 venues across the UK. The emphasis is on encouraging youngsters to be safer drivers, by helping them master the skills off road and at a younger age. 1 in 5 newly qualified drivers in the UK has an accident within 6 months of passing their test; but this drops to 1 in 10 for Young Driver past pupils.

Luke and Joe, who both attend Neston High School, won their places at the final after being judged during 1 of their lessons at the scheme's Aintree venue.

At the final, the drivers will be marked on driving skills and manoeuvres, including parallel parking, emergency stops, steering, judgement and positioning, as well as having to undertake independent driving. Judges include ex-police drivers and advanced instructors and 1st place prizes for each category include ₤200, 10 1 hour Young Driver lessons and family restaurant vouchers. Prizes are also given to the runners up.

Luke said:- "I am really excited to get in the top 20 for my age group. I am hoping that I will get to pass my test  1st go like my brothers did. They both had Young Driver lessons too. None of my friends believe I drive a real car. I can't wait to do the competition."

Joe added:- "I was really pleased to find out I'd made the final and am looking forward to showing the judges what I can do. I've had 5 lessons with Young Driver, and although I was nervous being behind the wheel for the  1st time, it is a lot of fun and I think it will really help me when it comes to getting on the road at 17. I feel like I have a lot of driving skills under my belt and will therefore be able to focus more on other road users rather than what to do with my feet!"

Laura White, head of marketing at Young Driver, added:- "Congratulations to Luke and Joe. They've done brilliantly to make the final and should feel very proud of themselves. Every year we're stunned at the quality of drivers we have entering the Young Driver Challenge; they all take the responsibility of being behind the wheel very seriously and have obviously been paying attention to every word their instructor tells them. The Challenge is a great way to celebrate the hard work they've done, and to show the benefits of pre-17 driving education. When you see the youngsters driving, it becomes fairly obvious that the extended experience, and having started at a younger age, is a positive thing for all of our safety when it comes to them getting on the roads for real."

For more information on Young Driver go to:- or call:- 0844 371 9010.

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