YOUNG people are being given the chance to take centre stage at the Polish Saturday School thanks to donation from a chemical company.

The group, which has more than 100 pupils aged between five and 16, meet every weekend during term time at Hummersknott Academy in Darlington.

The community organisation, established two years ago by teachers and friends, aims to promote Polish culture and bilingualism has been awarded £250 from Venator’s Together Fund.

Pupils are encouraged to learn about Polish culture through educational lessons as well as creative activities including the school’s ‘Little Theatre’ project, school band and choir.

Anna Urbanowicz, the head of strategy at the school, said: “We’ve found that one of the best ways to inspire our pupils to learn has been by giving them the opportunity to express themselves through drama as well as music. That’s why we created the school’s ‘Little Theatre’ project and music groups.

“Thanks to the Venator Together Fund we were able to buy costumes and stage sets for the school’s two festive productions which our pupils thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of creating, rehearsing and performing. The extra funding really helped to inspire not only the pupils, but the teachers and parents, to be more creative.

“The grant is also helping the school to form a band and choir which the children are very excited about. We plan on getting the children some ukuleles and they can’t wait to learn how to play as a band, as well as learn how to sing in the choir, so they can do a live performance.”

Grants were also awarded to Darlington Harriers & Athletics Club, Darlington Quakers U9s and Pierremont Giving Garden.

Karen Fenwick, vice president corporate branding and communications at Venator, said: “It’s great to hear how the grants are actually spent and that they do make a difference to schools, teams and community groups across the North East.”

Anyone interested in attending the school can visit their website