13 December 2010

A Northamptonshire drama group is celebrating the success of one of its star performers who’s become the youngest person in the county to earn a gold level arts award.

Irthingborough-based Lorna Barnes has become only the second young person in the county to be awarded the prestigious accolade for her work with Expressions Theatre Group, which is run by young people for young people who have been or are looked after and in need.

Lorna joined Expressions, which is supported by Northamptonshire County Council, sixteen months ago. At 18 Lorna worked on a successful bid for funding to create a drama documentary film and podcast aimed at challenging perceptions of children in care.

After successfully launching the presentation of the film at the Derngate during the summer, Lorna completed her award in September.

Now the chair of Expressions management committee, Lorna has been involved with Northamptonshire County Council’s children’s rights team, which acts on behalf of children in care to give them a voice.

Lorna said, “It made me learn to be responsible and to plan ahead. I learnt that if you put your mind to it you can do what you want.”

Cabinet member for children and young people, Councillor Andrew Grant said “I had the pleasure of meeting Lorna on one of her visits to County Hall and again at the launch of the drama-documentary and she spoke with great conviction about the issues affecting young people who have experienced the care system.

“It’s wonderful to see how Lorna has channelled her talent and used it to support other young people. We’re all very proud of Lorna and her achievement.”

Currently Lorna is studying a Social Science foundation course at Northampton University and she is working on a street dance piece for performance.

The Arts Award is a national qualification which supports young people aged 11-25 to develop as artists and arts leaders. The award can be undertaken at Expressions Theatre Group, which supports looked after and in need children and young people aged 8-19 years, with 20+ having the opportunity to become young leaders and volunteers within the group.

For more information about Expressions, including how to join please see www.northamptonshire.gov.uk or contact Expressions referrals to Participation Worker Tony Butcher at Northamptonshire County Council’s Children's Rights tbutcher@northamptonshire.gov.uk

Arts Award:

About Arts Award
Arts Award supports young people to develop as artists and arts leaders. Young people aged 11-25 of all abilities and interests can gain Arts Awards through any art form. More information at www.artsaward.org.uk

Arts Award runs in England through a collaboration between Arts Council England and Trinity Guildhall. Nine Regional Development Co-ordinators support the award in each English region.

Arts Award has three levels ,Bronze, Silver and Gold, which are on the QCF (Qualification Credit Framework) and accredited by Ofqual at levels one, two and three.

Young people receive an Arts Award qualification and certificate from Trinity College London, endorsed by the Arts Council. The title of the qualification is the TCL Level 1 and 2 Award in the Arts and Level 3 Certificate in the Arts.