The words of the famous Bowie hit might shout about being heroes just for one day – but Teesside musicians Adam Sayers and Paul Scott are heroes every day. And now the title is official.
For the duo, who give up their own time and energy to run the Middlesbrough-based Starmakerz project, have become the latest recipients to be honoured with a Teesside Hero Award from the Teesside Philanthropic Foundation.
The pair set up the project nine years ago; run from a Middlesbrough church hall it offers free music tuition, singing and dancing to four to 18-year-olds.
Their mission is to give disadvantaged youngsters the chance to develop their musical skills, they believe everybody should have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument or try their hand at performing arts.
The motto behind it is ‘Confidence through creativity’ and the popular project has seen hundreds of kids through its doors, learning how to play, sing and perform alongside vital confidence boosting skills designed to serve them well later in life.
The Teesside Hero Award was given in recognition of Adam and Paul’s hard work and the effort they put in to help and support Teesside’s youngsters.
“It was a surprise and completely unexpected but a lovely gesture,” said Adam, from Billingham.
“As musicians, there is nothing better than being able to pass your skills on, to teach someone else and to see kids who have come to us not knowing anything about performing stage their own play or Christmas show.
“Confidence through creativity is what we like to say – through playing music or getting on stage to sing a song, the confidence that comes through will have benefits further on in life.”
Adam and Paul, from Thornaby, are professional musicians and have played in bands for 30 years.
Around 10 years ago they decided it was time to give something back to the community they live in and put the instruments and studio equipment they had accumulated to good use. Starmakerz was born and is run by volunteers at St Aiden’s Centre in Clifton Street, Middlesbrough.
It was one of them, Becky Leckenby, who nominated the pair for the Teesside Hero Award.
“Both Paul and Adam go over and above to help and support people of our community and receive nothing in return but the joy of seeing them succeed and to help them bring out their own brilliance,” said Becky. “I think they are both amazing people and really deserve this award.”
Lisa Preston of Philanthropic Foundation patrons Hunters Estate Agents presented the duo with their Teesside Hero awards in a surprise presentation.
As part of the award, Adam and Paul were able to nominate a £1,000 donation from the Foundation to put into a local cause of their choosing. They intend to put it back into Starmakerz to continue helping Teesside’s kids shine bright.