A TALENTED Ormiston Forge Academy staff member has been presented with an award at the first Ormiston Academies Trust Awards.

Sarah Taylor, who runs the Success Centre at Ormiston Forge Academy received the First Class Achievement Beyond the Classroom award at the first ceremony held by academy sponsor Ormiston Academies Trust.

The award is for a support member of staff who has supported students to make a first class achievement in an extra-curricular activity, or who has provided exemplary support to students.

Miss Taylor was nominated due to the positive impact of the Success Centre at Forge and in the community, particularly with a Peer Mentoring programme she started at the academy to educate young people on the dangers of alcohol. Sarah advertised and interviewed Peer Mentors from years nine to 13 who were then trained to mentor both inside and outside the academy.

The number of teenagers on the streets at night has dropped significantly as have the reports of anti-social behaviour. Police and councillors are amazed the impact the project has had and regularly join Sarah and her team. The council are so impressed that the Forge team are training and leading other schools in neighbouring communities to set up similar programmes.

Miss Taylor’s achievements were honoured at a special awards ceremony at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London, where she was presented with a plaque and certificate by Tim Campbell, OBE, entrepreneur and first winner of The Apprentice, and Ben Fogle author, presenter and adventurer. Attendees included politicians, top businesses and representatives from the education world, including UCAS and the universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

Andrew Burns, Principal at Ormiston Forge Academy said: “The Forge family are very proud of Sarah and we're delighted that she has been recognised for her commitment to young people. Our academy is at the heart of our local community and we recognise that our responsibilities don't finish when the school day ends. Sarah's work is an inspiration to us all.”

Professor Toby Salt, Chief Executive of Ormiston Academies Trust said: “As a network, we are determined to make the biggest difference to our students, and this event gave us the chance to celebrate just some of the exceptional staff and students we have in our academies."