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Seaford Musical Theatre Juniors, winners of the 2014 SPARK award.

Seaford Musical Theatre Juniors, winners of the 2014 SPARK award.

SPARK calls for award nominations

SPARK, the network for young’s people’s organisations in East Sussex, is inviting member groups to apply for one of its 2016 awards. Winners will be announced at a ceremony in May, for which the main sponsor is the East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service. Nick Terdre reports.

Awards will be made in 12 categories, plus the SPARK award for an individual, team or organisation that in the opinion of the judging panel has earned special recognition in the voluntary and community sector. Only organisations affiliated to SPARK can apply.

“Being shortlisted and winning a SPARK award can help you raise your group’s profile and assures potential funders that the work you’re doing with children and young people is of high quality,” SPARK says. The organisation provides voluntary and community groups in East Sussex working with young people aged up to 19 with a range of services, including access to funding schemes, free and subsidised training, information and networking opportunities. Membership is free.

“Recognition from the SPARK awards has given my wonderful team of volunteers new motivation and positivity,” says Paula Woolven, director of Seaford Musical Theatre Juniors. “The SPARK awards enabled us to showcase our results and spread the word about our community theatre.” The group won the SPARK award in 2014, the last time the awards were made.

Craftimation 3

Craftimation Factory, winner of the junior award for Arts & Culture Achievement.

Several Hastings and St Leonards-based groups were also among the winners, including Education Futures Trust, The Craftimation Factory, Little Gate Farm, Respond Academy and RSPCA Mallydams Wood.

“We are delighted to be involved in this year’s SPARK Awards,” says David Kemp, head of community safety at East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service. “The work that SPARK do in supporting, connecting and celebrating groups and organisations that work with young people is so important, and it’s exactly why we want to be part of this fantastic network now and into the future.

“As a service we are committed to building stronger connections with the younger members of the communities we serve. We are already providing education through our road safety initiatives, including Safe Drive Stay Alive and support through our Firewise scheme.”

Individual award sponsors include Sussex Police, Wave Leisure, Sussex Downs College, South Downs National Park Authority, Sussex Coast College Hastings, Ashdown Audio Visual, Redhead Design and Create 51. The evening, which will feature performances from young SPARK members, will be attended by local MPs and representatives of the children and young people’s sector.

All member groups will be invited to the awards ceremony, where they can also take advantage of free exhibition space to promote their work. The event will take place on 10 May and award applications must be submitted by 15 April.
Award categories

Environmental Achievement
Sports Achievement
Health & Wellbeing Achievement
Arts & Culture Achievement
Social Media Achievement
Enterprise Achievement
Advice & Guidance Achievement
Equality & Inclusion Achievement
Young People-led Project
Junior Volunteer (Primary school age)
Senior Volunteer (Secondary school age)
Adult Volunteer (18 and above)
The SPARK Award

SPARK Awards 2016 Tuesday 10 May, 6-8.30pm, Winter Gardens Theatre, 14 Compton St, Eastbourne BN21 4BP. For more information on the awards and how to apply, see here or contact communications manager Lisa Coupal on 07921 485813 or at

Winners of the 2014 awards.

Winner of the Advice & Guidance & Achievement award in 2014 was Little Gate Farm.

Winner of the Advice & Guidance Achievement award in 2014 was Little Gate Farm.




Posted 16:40 Monday, Feb 22, 2016 In: Grassroots

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