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Page last updated at 16:19 GMT, Thursday, 19 August 2010 17:19 UK
Young care leavers gain art award
Dotty with her sculpture
Dotty with her horse sculpture at the Moving On exhibition

Five young care-leavers from Darlington have achieved Bronze Arts Awards for their special exhibition.

The youngsters have been working with artists to design and create their own visual artwork.

They completed the course as part of a lottery funded scheme to help them move on after leaving care.

The course aimed to help them to get into college, get a job, or just find the confidence to take their next step in life on their own.

Personal development

The Moving On project has been a partnership between Tees Valley Arts and the Leaving Care and Arts Development Teams at Darlington Borough Council.

Tees Valley Arts Education Officer, Jane Gray said: "The young people have achieved a great deal throughout this project - not just great artwork, but confidence and self-esteem, teamwork, leadership, communication skills and personal development.

Sculpture of E.T
One young artist Danny created this sculpture of E.T

"We're all extremely proud of their achievements and it would be fantastic to showcase that within the town - young people often get negative publicity, and here there's something very positive to shout about."

Alan Welsh, Manager for the Leaving Care Team said:

"The work completed is amazing - the exhibition was fantastic and it never ceases to surprise me what young people can achieve despite difficult early life experiences.

"The team look to build on successes, and are motivated to provide many of the experiences young people deserve, but sometimes aren't aware exist.

"To this end the achievements serve as both a testament to the team's work and to the young people's ability and resilience."

The project was funded by the lottery programme Awards for All and Positive Activities for Young People through Darlington Borough Council.

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