Meet our Members

Mark's story

"I came to Cedars in 1998 as a pupil. I found it hard to socialise with my peers and didn't like my teachers. I always had an interest in sport and started to attend Gateshead Kestrel Clubs, first as a participant and then as a young leader. I was given the opportunity to take part in national competitions and nationally-recognised leadership programmes. Doing this helped me to mature, gain confidence in myself, feel comfortable when talking to different groups of people, and have a more positive attitude and outlook.

I am now an apprentice teaching assistant within the PE Department at Cedars Academy. I have a number of roles including swimming assessment across all key stages, equipment manager and I assist in various subjects across the curriculum. I also volunteer at Kestrel Clubs 5 nights per week and attend regional and national competitions as support staff. I am a proud member of the KITEs and take a lead role in planning different events and excursions for the group to attend and I currently captain Gateshead Kestrels FC.

Cedars has played a huge role in my personal development and I take great satisfaction in being able to pass on my experience to the students of today.”

Michael's Story
"I am a former student of Cedars and a current member of The KITEs.
My life at Cedars started in 1998. I was always interested in sport and got involved with Kestrels through speaking to Mrs Neale. My first taste of sporting competition came when I took part in the Mini Games when I was only 8 years old. I loved every minute of it and went on to take part in other sports and activities such as swimming and athletics. I even managed to win a few medals here and there.
Some of my favourite times at Cedars were the ski trips and sailing trips I had the chance to go on. Most recently, I completed the Kestrels Bungee Jump Challenge to help raise money for the club. I must admit I was scared at first. It was a tough mental challenge but one which I really enjoyed.
Thanks to Cedars and Kestrels I have been able to develop my confidence, communication skills and self-belief. I was able to attend Newcastle College where I completed my NVQ Level 3 in Personal Training and I currently help to train members of The KITEs at our Friday club."
Dan's Story
"I first joined Cedars in 2005 after leaving a large secondary school because I was being bullied and didn't fit in. I had very little confidence in myself and had many fears such as loud noises, large crowds, trying new things and socialising with other pupils. However, as time passed, I progressively overcame my fears thanks to the great moral support I received from teachers and friends at the school. 
I was given the opportunity to take part in activities such as Duke of Edinburgh excursions, leadership courses, drama workshops, sailing expeditions and after-school sports clubs. Getting involved in all of these activities led to proud personal achievements such as Gateshead Kestrels Footballer of the Year and leading roles in Shakespeare plays.
I was one of the first cohort of students to be part of the new sixth from at Cedars before I started Newcastle College in 2010. I studied Sports Science and Coaching as I wanted to pursue a career in sport due to being inspired by the PE teachers at Cedars. I then went on to study for a foundation degree in Sports Science, which I will complete this year.
My future plans are to eventually become a PE teacher. I am currently volunteering at Cedars, where I assist with PE lessons and after-school clubs."