National scheme unlocks potential of St Helens students

The Carmel College students at the awards ceremony in London
The Carmel College students at the awards ceremony in London

College students from St Helens travelled to London to celebrate completing a high-profile programme helping them to excel.

The seven-strong group from Carmel College were given certificates for doing the 2018 AQA Unlocking Potential scheme at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in the capital.

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The programme is for young people aged 14 to 19 who have faced personal challenges or disadvantage and involves being mentored by Olympics and Paralympics competitors through a partnership with the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust which also helps people who have faced difficulties in reaching their goals.

Athlete Neil Danns worked with the Carmel sixth form students over a period of eight months, with the sessions dedicated to unlocking hidden attributes and skills and delivering two social action projects.

The three upper sixth formers took a contemporary performance of Shakespeare's Macbeth into local schools to inspire young people to take an interest in drama and the arts.

The year 12 students, meanwhile, worked with Greenfields Care Home on the entertainingly-titled 'pimp my zimmer' campaign, using money raised from bake sales to decorate the walking frames of elderly residents.

This has a serious purpose as research suggests that when people who need a zimmer frame feel a strong attachment to it they are more likely to use it, reducing falls by up to 60 per cent.

Carmel College teacher Erinna Delaney, who nominated the students for the programme, said: "It was a delight to work with these inspiring young people and to see how they can make a difference to their community.

"I was so proud of them at the award ceremony in London, and of all they’ve done throughout this programme.

“It’s been a real pleasure to be involved with AQA Unlocking Potential.”