Over the past 20 years, Ariel Drama Academies have provided inclusive performing arts lessons for children and young adults with special and additional needs throughout Sussex. The academies, which have locations in Burgess Hill, Crawley, East Grinstead, Haywards Heath, Horsham and Shoreham, have dedicated teams of specialist tutors who work with the special needs group, The Othellos, every week providing an inspiring and vital creative safe-space for over 300 students.
During lockdown, Ariel Drama Academies received the news that from 64,000 applicants, they have been shortlisted to the final 8 at the prestigious National Diversity Awards in the Community Age Category. This nomination is in recognition of the fully inclusive nature of Ariel’s academies, the opportunities given to students to learn life-skills to ensure brighter futures, the sense of community and the high standard of theatrical training every individual receives. Ariel Company Theatre have previously won the Lady Diana Award of Excellence for their Drama inclusion work and their Buddying initiative, in which students from the mainstream academies volunteer as one-to-one support within the Othellos group.
Nicci Hopson, Ariel’s Artistic Director says – “Receiving this nomination has been really overwhelming. We love working with our students each week, seeing them grow in confidence, forming friendships and learning new skills, so for us to be recognised at a National level for the work we do is very special indeed. It is events such as this that show the importance of shining a light on all areas of our community. There is still so much to be done to promote the need for positive inclusion for all children, young adults and all individuals with additional needs and disabilities.”
The National Diversity Awards arose when The Diversity Group sought the need to promote and encourage positive role models who aim to empower and inspire communities across the UK. The annual ceremony celebrates the life-changing work charities, role models and community heroes do and to recognize their outstanding devotion to enhancing equality, diversity and inclusion.
“This nomination is testament to the incredible students and inspirational tutors we have at Ariel Drama Academies. Their work goes beyond the hourly, weekly sessions and being a part of hundreds of student success stories is so rewarding. Whatever the outcome is at the ceremony, being acknowledged amongst so many worthy fellow nominees has been such an honour,” says PR and Communications Officer, Beth Gavin.
The black-tie awards ceremony will be taking place early next year at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral.
Ariel Drama Academies continues to welcome new students so please contact us online or call 01444 250407 if you would like to join our community and enjoy a FREE trial.