RENOWNED vocal coach and TV star CeCe Sammy has helped Cradley Heath pupils celebrate the work of local charities.

CeCe, who has appeared as a coach on The X Factor, The Voice UK, Pop Idol and Let’s Sing and Dance for Comic Relief, recently joined students at Ormiston Forge Academy for a special performance to mark local charities day.

As part of the day, pupils brought along 170kg of food items to be donated to the Quinton and Oldbury Foodbank.

CeCe visited Forge as part of the Speakers for Schools initiative, which brings together leading figures in public life to deliver individual talks in schools and colleges throughout the country.

Along with a team of performers, the chairperson of the British jury for Eurovision Song Contest 2016 spoke and sung to a full hall of more than 500 year seven and year eight students about the power and motivation of music.

CeCe said: “Music reaches us sometimes when other things can't and being able to express yourself through music or any creative art is something we must hold tightly and celebrate.

“Being involved in the Government initiative for local charities day and giving my time to Speakers For Schools means a lot to me.

“I'm delighted to be here in Sandwell celebrating the day with the Forge students and hopefully making a difference at many different levels.”

CeCe and her guests also treated a small group of performing arts students to a masterclass where Sirine, a 12-year-old blind girl, sang and spoke about her life and the positive influence that music has had on it.

Andrew Burns, principal, added: “We speak a great deal about the Forge family, today we welcomed CeCe and her friends into our family.

“A family is all about looking out for one another and helping each other; it's incredibly humbling to see a group of people like Speakers For Schools, Quinton and Oldbury Foodbank, CeCe and Forge, come together to make a difference.

“If ever there was a great Christmas story, it's right here.”