Hamilton musical stars drop by at Harlesden school's police-run summer camp
PUBLISHED: 11:30 27 August 2019
Pupils in Harlesden got to meet West End stars during a police-organised summer camp in their school.
Boys from Newman Catholic College spent time with the cast and directors of Hamilton, having been treated to front row seats at the musical the week before. The musical, about American founding father Alexander Hamilton, has been running for two years in London and has won international recognition for (among other things) its casting of non-white actors.
The police-run summer camp at the Harlesden Road school is now in its fourth year and as popular as ever with pupils and staff.
However, its success is also largely down to headmaster Danny Coyle, who offers use of the school site for free and donates £1,000.
Local businesses have climbed on board donating sandwiches, patties and pastries, snacks and drinks.
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Pc Gary Weedon, who has his own office within the school during term time, said the scheme allows about 30 pupils to participate. Danny is open to the partnership work and there's no fee. Other schools are very apprehensive to do the same," he said.
"Newman Catholic College is currently the only school we know of in London which currently runs this project and due to the success and partnership work with the Met police we have managed to create a bond with the students which had previously been difficult."
Over four weeks, pupils have enjoyed cooking classes with Mama Jacq's, swimming, first aid and team bonding, a trip to a trampoline park, a visit to Kew Gardens and the show at the Victoria Palace.
The Hamilton stars gave up their time on August 14, sharing their experiences with the youngsters who in turn were able to open up to them and share theirs.
Pupils have also received intensive rugby training with Saracens rugby club, which culminated in the students being able to enrol in a sports business course for further education.
Pc Holly Breakwell added: "We've got a good rapport with the kids. We take the mick out of them!
"Newman is one of the most engaging schools, so pro-police, because we tackle things head on. The kids love us now and we have fun with them."