Look inside Sunderland’s new beauty training academy

Bradley Lowery’s mum Gemma has spoken of how her son would be so proud of her as she launched a new hair and beauty training academy.

By Sophie Brownson
Wednesday, 15 May, 2019, 06:00
Owners Gemma Lowery and Amy McKenna (R) of Bella Marie Training Academy open another academy on Borough Road, Sunderland. Back from left tutors Natalie Evans, Ashleigh Edwards, Viki O'Neill and Kaye Kennedy.

Gemma Lowery and business partner Amy McKenna opened the doors to their second Bella Marie Training Academy, in Borough Road, Sunderland, on Tuesday.

Gemma’s son Bradley was an inspiration to people around the world for the brave way he fought cancer neuroblastoma.

Bella Marie Training Academy owners Gemma Lowery and Amy McKenna (L) outisde of their new academy in Sunderland.

The Blackhall youngster sadly lost his fight aged just six, in July 2017.

Gemma and Amy, who already run an academy based in Seaham, have now expanded their business to offer a range of beauty training courses for those aged 16 plus in the city.

Courses include fast track courses in the likes of nail extensions, back massage, facials and henna brows.

Academy based training is also on offer with students able to gaining qualifications across different levels such as Level 1 and 2 beauty therapy and Level 1 and 2 hairdressing.

Inside the new academy in Sunderland.

Co-owner Amy said: “Bella Marine Training Academy started in 2017 in Seaham.

“We have a salon and a training school there and we predominately specialise in hair and beauty training.

“In Seaham we had hit capacity, were getting requests for new courses and people were travelling to us as well, so we decided to open this new venue, which is similar to what we have in Seaham, but is expanding what we already do.

The new academy also offers not-for-profit courses to help adult learners on low incomes and vulnerable women.

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Gemma Lowery and Amy McKenna have opened a second of Bella Marie Training Academy.

Gemma, from Blackhall, said: “We would also like to work with vulnerable women in Sunderland and surrounding areas, hopefully to encourage them to come in and get some training and encourage them to get some work.”

Gemma added: “Bradley would be so proud.

“When we did the original building in Seaham he used to come in, with his daddy’s little worker top on and he absolutely loved it.

“He always used to say ‘mammy I want to go to the salon.’

The academy provides hair and beauty training.

“Seeing where me and Amy are today he’ll be really proud.”

Amy added: “It’s been a roller coaster couple of weeks to get it ready for today and Gemma still works full time at the foundation so we’ve had to fit it in where we can.

“But Carl, Gemma’s husband has been a massive help, building it for us.”

Owners Gemma Lowery and Amy McKenna (R).
Owners Gemma Lowery and Amy McKenna (L) of Bella Marie open another academy on Borough Road, Sunderland.
Inside the new academy.