Hailsham Community College student Michael Cullen was presented with the sixth annual John Britton Award for Service to the Community at a special event held at the college on Wednesday (July 16).
Michael, 16, was given a shield and a trophy inscribed with his name by Ruth Britton and Emily Curryer, wife and granddaughter of the late John Britton, who was District Youth Leader from 1970 until 1987 and much loved in the local community.
Mark Dabernig, Director of Learning for Performing Arts at Hailsham Community College, who nominated Michael, said: “As an accomplished pianist, Michael has shown incredible commitment to artistic developments at the college, supporting a whole range of different events and activities.
“Among the activities he has supported are the project with Glyndebourne Opera House, singing groups Etoile and Vocalize, plays and productions for sixth form students, assemblies, accompanying soloists and various fundraising events.
“In February 2011, Michael made a huge contribution to the success of On One Day, the devised work that Hailsham Community College took to the Devonshire Park Theatre in Eastbourne. And more recently, Michael played a huge part in the success of Our House, as Assistant Musical Director.”
Town Mayor Cllr Jo Bentley said that receiving this prestigious accolade is a great honour.
She said: “The award is a fitting way to celebrate John Britton’s achievements in former years. This year’s award recipient Michael Cullen is a talented and gifted individual who is an exemplary role model to the young people of Hailsham. I’ve had the honour of hearing him play and his music is a pleasure to listen to. He genuinely cares about making a difference in the lives of others at the college and indeed the local community and has accomplished a great deal with such endeavours.”
Andy Joyes, youth project co-ordinator at Hailsham Town Council, added: “This year’s award winner has been an inspiration for community spirit within his college and it is very clear he deserves acknowledgement for all his work on the various productions, musical expertise, fundraising activities and everything else he has done to help others. Well done Michael.”