At a unique regional awards ceremony, Newcastle High School for Girls have been recognised for their outstanding work in changing lives through the youth movement National Citizen Service (NCS).

Beating off stiff competition from 16 local schools, NHSG scooped an NCS North East Star School Award, which was presented to Headmistress Hilary French by Newcastle High girls Anudi Galagedara, 16, and Ariane Cornall, 16, who are both graduates of the scheme.

Hilary French said: “We are thrilled to receive this award. We have embraced NCS as part of our commitment to helping girls to maximise their potential. In true NHSG style, the girls have recognised and grasped the opportunities offered through the scheme.

“It is excellent that so many of our pupils have benefited from NCS and we look forward to getting even more girls involved in this life-changing scheme in the coming year.”

Jessica Taplin, CEO of vInspired, who deliver the NCS contract in the North East in partnership with National Youth Agency (NYA) and twelve local delivery partners from the voluntary and community sector, including Newcastle United Foundation, Headliners and Catch22, said: “A huge well done to staff and pupils at Newcastle High School for Girls. The school has shown real commitment and we look forward to continuing our work together to make sure that NCS continues to benefit local people and communities.”

A dozen leadership teams from schools across the region attended the NCS North East Schools Awards 2016. They were joined by decision makers from the education, youth and voluntary sectors – showcasing local commitment to maximising the benefits of the government-backed programme for young people in Newcastle and beyond.

In total, twelve schools, one from each local authority in the region, picked up an award in recognition of their successes in empowering their pupils to take part in the transformative scheme.

Held behind the scenes at Beamish Museum, scores of teenagers made the exclusive event a success by hosting, handing out awards and networking with influential guests.

NCS graduate Harriet Shaw, 19, compered the evening alongside Joe Johnson, 17, and said: “This really shows what NCS is all about. Young people making a difference.”

Also speaking at the event were members of Team Brah, an award winning group of young people from Northumberland and Newcastle, who have continued their LGBTQ awareness-raising campaign since kick-starting the project on NCS in 2015.

Emma Ramshaw, an inspirational NCS team leader, spoke movingly about how the programme had changed her life.

Bookings are now open for the unmissable NCS experience, with parents or teenagers urged to call 0191 247 4020 or visit NCSNORTHEAST.co.uk.