A SCHOOLBOY was named belle of the ball after attending his prom in drag to raise money and awareness.

Jack Lodge, 16, emerged in a red gown from the back seat of a Chrysler at Hardwick Hall Hotel for his leaver’s prom.

The former Sedgefield Community College student, from Trimdon, was transformed into a drag queen with help from his sister who works as a beautician and his mother who has an eye for fashion.

Although Jack said he was shy and was very nervous, he wanted to do something in honour of a staff member at the school, who was diagnosed with cancer.

He said the staff member was someone he could go to for advice and support and made a huge positive impact on his time at Sedgefield Community College.

The teenager said: “I think it’s really important to raise money for the cause because it will go towards helping people like my teacher.

“I also wanted to raise awareness of discrimination towards the LGBT+ community which still goes on today.

“Me and my friends have faced bullies before who targeted us because of how we identify,

"I wanted to stand up and let bullies know they won’t keep us down and put an end to this behaviour.

“Everyone at the school was really supportive and brilliant – I got so many compliments from people for my dress and I enjoyed it.

“I would definitely consider doing drag again in the future even though it was scary because it was the first time.

“When I decided to raise money I thought this would be the best way to do it.”

In the UK, there are 363,484 new cases of cancer ever year according to Cancer Research UK.

The survival rate stands at 50 per cent across England and Wales.

The teenager’s mother Samantha Lodge said: “I am so proud of Jack for doing this as he is quite shy and has never dressed in drag before.

“Jack is hoping that people send money and donate to these great causes.

“All of us have known people who have lost their battle with cancer or are fighting the disease.

"In the past we have lost family members and friends and now an excellent teacher is fighting for her life because of this disease.”

The brave teenager has now left the school and is waiting on his GCSE results.

He plans to attend Middlesbrough College to study art and design and hopes the course will take him into a career in that field.

To donate to Cancer Research UK visit cancerresearchuk.org or to donate Marie Curie visit mariecurie.org.uk