Our super stars of the stage

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MEET the proud young stage performers who have battled adversity to entertain audiences all over the North-East.

The 18 members of the Hartlepool performing arts group Constellation have become the latest worthy town cause to be nominated for a Pride of Hartlepool Award.

They have been described as “a privilege to work with” by the very people who support them.

In fact, the members of Constellation aged from 13 upwards have received seven nominations in one fell swoop from Grace Guerin, Laura Stoddart, Sam Gretton, Nicola Gelson, Thomas Malinson, Shaun Potts, and Mandy Bullock.

Constellation is the performing arts section of the Hartlepool Special Needs Support Group. Every member lives with profound learning or physical disabilities.

Grace Guerin, who nominated the young stars for an award in the Community Group category, said: “Each member of Constellation has their own daily challenges to overcome, alongside the many major setbacks that occur.

“Despite these challenges, they manage to rehearse twice a week with immense enthusiasm and sheer determination to produce an outstanding performance every time.

“It is a privilege to work with Constellation as their courage and dedication makes them the Pride of Hartlepool.”

Grace told how Constellation had taken on a huge range of events over the last year, including performing at the Arc in Stockton, at Middlesbrough Mela and Stockton International Riverside Festival.

And their hectic schedule shows no sign of easing up. Constellation and Friends will be staging their next show on May 31 and June 1 at the Northern Lights Academy in King Oswy Drive with price and time details to come soon.

Support group manager/co-ordinator Pat Allison said: “They work hard and they work as a team. They would undoubtedly deserve an award.”

She said the group’s supporters, including the seven people who nominated Constellation, also deserved praise.