Celebrating Arts Award Alumni

Celebrating Arts Award Alumni

Picture of Nicola King

BY: Nicola King
19 Dec 2022

As we reach the end of the year, we want to celebrate young people's achievements by asking a few of our Trinity Champion Centres to highlight Arts Award alumni who have used their Arts Award as a stepping stone to success. We hope you enjoy reading about them!

Victoria Horrocks, Arts Award adviser and Community Arts Coordinator at Formby High School, shared some updates from a few of her Arts Award alumni with us:

Formby 2 Harry achieved his Gold Arts Award focusing on filmmaking and was able to develop skills in several areas such as acting, directing, and editing. Harry was featured in Trinity Talent 2021 and has gone on to study at university.

I’m currently studying English Literature at the University of Greenwich, as well as participating in their Society of Dramatic Arts (SODA). I am a National Youth Theatre member, and I am also auditioning for multiple drama schools this year so I may progress to drama school after university. Apart from that, I’m building a showreel while I’m here, in the hopes of getting an agent and accumulating professional acting work. I would say the opportunity Gold Arts Award gave me to try out new art forms has encouraged me to try many new things here.’


Lauren achieved her Gold Arts Award and has found the experience and confidence she gained invaluable in her studies at university.

‘Arts Award has really helped and improved my confidence. Gaining experience of presenting my work helped massively with my presenting skills in university, especially when it comes to creating advertising campaigns to deliver to live clients as a lot of my course is based on presentations and coursework. Recently I have had some work creating a Christmas advert for a Sheffield Christmas charity called HARC, for which I had to present to them. I started by making mood boards and scripts, all of which I learnt through Gold Arts award.’


Formby 3 Orla achieved her Gold Arts Award focusing on fashion design and was able to use this to gain a place at the London College of Fashion. Orla was featured in Trinity Talent 2019. As part of her Gold award Orla did work experience with a seamstress and was able to learn important design skills such as how to cut a pattern and how to make a toile. Her Gold award also allowed her to build her confidence and artistic ideas.

‘The Arts Award qualification has influenced my artistic creativity as it encouraged me to experiment and discover new skills, this meant I was able to create new and authentic work. I became more confident in my ideas and in the making of them.’

Orla is now in her third year at the London College of Fashion and was awarded a bursary to study. During the summer she was studying in Paris, learning to speak French, before starting a Haute Couture Dress making course at École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs beginning in February.


Juliet Fischer, Arts Award adviser and Head of Drama and Expressive Arts at Malvern St James Girls School, highlighted how a number of their students have used Arts Award to go onto further education and drama school:

Rachel finished GCSE Drama and moved on to A-level sciences, however she soon returned to the drama department, and we agreed that she would drop one of her A-Levels to focus on her Silver Arts Award. Her portfolio ended up being outstanding, and she was able to use it as evidence of her passion and knowledge to secure a place at drama school to become a Stage Manager.


More recently, two Year 13 students used their Silver Arts Award experiences and portfolios to bolster their Higher Education applications for Drama and Stage Management. One received firm offers from 4 highly prestigious Drama Schools, the other student 5 offers from universities. They ended up at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and Exeter University. The Arts Award gave them a focus for their UCAS statements, confidence in their applications, the experience of learning from Arts professionals and a way of demonstrating their passion.

Gill Simmonds, Arts Award adviser and Artistic Director at Brave Bold Drama, told us about one of their alumni who went on to study graphic design thanks to her Silver Arts Award:

We first met Lauren when she got in touch to ask if we offered Year 10 work experience. Lauren was at that point doing Art GCSE and was already keen on creating images digitally. During her work experience week, Lauren created a simple illustrated I-spy trail around the arts centre for young visitors to enjoy. The fact that Lauren’s work continued to give delight to local families even after her work experience ended gave her a lot of pride.

Rainbow dog (2)

So, when we later secured Arts Council funding to run Silver Arts Award with young people in the area, it was logical for us to get back in touch with Lauren to see if she was interested. Lauren absolutely was, and returned each week to our community arts centre to hone her skills in digital art, and extended her skills by learning about pastels with the support of a specialist art tutor we brought in. We arranged for Lauren to exhibit her artwork at a local arts trail in south Bristol, and Lauren sold 6 prints of her work during the weekend, which was a great confidence boost.

Later still, Lauren got back in touch to ask us if we could help her with an application to study graphic design with Boomsatsuma, a large provider of post-16 creative qualifications in Bristol. We helped Lauren identify examples of relevant skills the college was looking for in her Silver Arts Award portfolio, and we were delighted when Lauren was accepted on the course.


We are always pleased to celebrate the success of your young people so do get in touch, or comment, to let us know about your Arts Award alumni and where Arts Award has taken them! If you enjoyed reading this blog take a look at This is Trinity where this month the theme is celebrating achievement.

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