Our trio of trail Blazers

Shona Thompson, Jack Hathaway (left) and Harry Jamson.
Shona Thompson, Jack Hathaway (left) and Harry Jamson.

A trio of talented teenagers have taken up job opportunities in the arts, thanks to an exciting new pilot scheme.

Harry Jamson, Shona Thompson and Jack Hathaway are taking part in Ignite – The Alternative Saturday Job - which enables 16 to 19-year-olds to gain valuable paid experience working within the arts sector.

For several years, Harry, Shona and Jack have been involved in projects at The Dukes Creative Learning Department at DT3 in Lancaster which nominated them to benefit from the Ignite programme.

Harry, 16, from Bay Horse, is working with Aspire, most recently on their Larks in the Park event at Williamson Park while Jack, 18, from Caton, works with Getting Loud in Libraries in Lancaster.

Shona, who’s just celebrated her 18th birthday, is working for Blaze, an ambitious culture and sport programme led by young people aged 13 to 19 which has been running in Lancashire since 2010.

Harry, Jack and Shona work up to seven hours a week. Ignite provide half the funding and the other half comes from the employers.

During Larks in the Park, Harry promoted the event through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as well as organising a radio interview and distributing leaflets.

The Lancaster Royal Grammar School pupil has just finished his GCSEs and also works part-time for a local vet.

Shona, a former Ripley pupil, has been on a long-term work placement at DT3 for more than a year.

As part of her paid work for Blaze, she recently organised a learning day for 15 young people which involved three artists sharing their skills in social media, film, photography and creative writing.

Shona, from Lancaster, has worked throughout Lancashire and joined the press team covering the Olympic Torch relay when it visited Burnley. She travelled even further in July when she visited Sweden as one of Blaze’s festival producers.

Jack’s job with Getting It Loud in Libraries has given him chances to work front of house and set up gigs for some of the country’s up-and-coming bands.

He has just finished his A-levels at Ripley St Thomas School and also works part-time at his local Co-op.

He co-wrote the recent Dukes success – The Unsociables – and hopes to pursue a career in writing.