A PERFORMING arts school is celebrating 10 years of working with local children and the growth it has achieved.

Little Voices, based in Blackburn and Clitheroe, was founded in 2007 to give children age between four and 18 a chance to gain drama and singing training.

When it was founded by Jane Maudsley, from Blackburn, it had just 12 pupils in total but has since become a national success and the organisation teaches thousands of young people across the country.

Now Ms Maudsley believes the group can play a vital role in providing new skills to young people.

Ms Maudsley said: "The arts are being cut from the school curriculum and less importance is being placed on the importance of music and drama.

"It is so important, the arts can give a child and young person so much – Little Voices can bridge that gap for young people and ensure that they do not miss out on vital life skills acquired through arts training."

All classes with Little Voices are limited to a size of eight students to give children the individual attention and teaching needed.

To mark the decade of work they have done Little Voices' co-Principal Claudia Fogarty will be celebrating in every lesson the week commencing September 18.

Ms Fogarty, was a pupil of Little Voices when it all began, and said she know first hand the benefit it can bring.

She said: "Little Voices made a huge difference to my confidence and overall development as a person; academically and socially.

"I loved to perform and I have gone on to create my career in the performing arts industry.

"Many of the children that we teach come each week for their lessons and whilst building their CV from a young age and nurturing their vocal and dramatic talents they have fun, make lifelong friendships and we nurture their skills for life."

Lessons are delivered throughout the school day as well as on an evening to provide extra curricular opportunities.

Staff at Little Voices said many schools go straight to the group themselves to provide performing arts classes to pupils.

For more information about Little Voices in Blackburn or Little Voices in Clitheroe please contact Claudia on 01254 207516.