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Events Academy provides training for Southwark young people

The Better Bankside Events Academy has staged a networking evening as the climax to its summer project.

The work experience project provides Southwark youth with a real-life taste of the working world.

Eight young people aged 16-21 worked two days a week during July and August to manage every aspect of the final event with guidance and support from the Better Bankside team and sponsoring businesses.

The aim is to recruit young people who are unsure of their skills and help them to grow their abilities and confidence.

Supporters receiving Better Bankside awards for their role included Fourth Day, IPC media and Roast restaurant.

The event was hosted at Prospero House in Borough High Street on Thursday evening with champagne and refreshments provided by The Refinery.

A message was read from Alastair Campbell who had advised the students on presentation.

"To see eight individuals who can go from good to great is very inspiring," said First Protocol managing director Mark Riches whose events management agency operates from offices in Southwark, New York and Los Angeles.

He told the audience that he had been moved when seeing a video of the 2010 project and decided to be involved this year.

Describing Better Bankside's annual Events Academy as "very worthwhile", he added: "This should be a bigger initiative."

The entertainment begun with a surprise appearance by the West End star and singer Colin Roy. The climax was an unannounced entry into the room by exuberant music group Kinetika Bloco who represented London at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Cultural Festival.

The 2011 students are Esther Edun, Amir Eden, Jammy Akodu, Morgan Scarlett Stewart, Jane Cameron, Pierre-Andre Mbala, Yosan Micheal and Henry Dang.

Their film previewed during the evening will be launched next month.

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