A group of 15 youngsters have been inspired into higher education and employment thanks to support from Go North East – and have presented the team with a handcrafted award.

Go North East received the Nacro Ambassador Hub trophy for going the extra mile to help excel disadvantaged young people’s education through events at its Gateshead Riverside depot.

The ‘inspire’ sessions offered 15 to 18 year olds, who live in some of the most deprived areas of the North East, the opportunity to get hands on experience with the region’s largest bus operator, which values employees with skills based education.

National charity Nacro provides students who have learning or social needs with academic and vocational knowledge, through practical activities such as motor vehicle repairs, construction workshops and animal care.

The award was presented to Go North East’s recruitment and training team by Chris Stevenson, Nacro Ambassador project leader, and participants of the project. Hand-crafted by the young learners, the award symbolises the charity’s commitment to community and engaging with its partners, featuring a piston, the driving force of an engine, and a synchro hub, which ensures all the gears in an engine work together.

To date 15 youngsters from the region have taken part in the Go North East visits and have all progressed to higher education or employment.

Chris Stevenson said: “Our young learners come from some of the most deprived areas in the North East. These sessions offer them an insight into the future beyond their current environment.”

Keith Robertson, Go North East’s recruitment and training manager, added: “We’re proud to be a partner of this valuable scheme, and thrilled to receive an award. Being part of initiatives like this is extremely important to Go North East because it gives us the chance to inspire young people and show that there are opportunities for them within our industry, and that there are many paths to a successful career.”

Go North East joins the likes of Northumbria University, Esh Group and James Rathbotham as holders of the Nacro Ambassador Hub Award.