St. Helens Search for a Star!
The contest was organised by social landlord Riverside in partnership with Merseyside Police, Safer St Helens, Morrison PLC, Arena Homes and re:new.
St Helens’ Got Talent was partly funded by Safer St Helens, through the Neighbourhood Action Groups - problem solving groups who work to tackle neighbourhood issues involving crime, anti-social behaviour and disorder.
A total of 21 acts who qualified at heats held across the borough entertained a packed crowd of over 750 people.
The winner in the 16 and under age category was Imana De Vares, who sung Beyonce’s version of the Etta James classic At Last. Sisters Harriet and Bethany McDonald, who sang and played drums to Mile Cyrus’ The Climb, came second, and Streets Ahead, a four-piece band who played a medley of All The Small Things by Blink 182 and Year 3000 by Busted, came third.
The 16 and over category was won by Anna Aspey, 17, who played the guitar and sang to Ellie Goulding’s Guns and Horses. Matthew Ball, who sang and played guitar to his own song, came second, and Brian Hughes, 18, sang Thinking of Me by Olly Murs, came third.
Laura Doveaston, 15, whose performance fused body popping with break dancing and ballet, won the dance category. Dance company Watch This Space came second and 11-year-old Emily Edwards, who street-danced to Flo Rider’s The Club Can’t Even Handle Me, came third.
Sitting on the judging panel were: Mayor of St Helens Councillor Neil Taylor, Safer St Helens ASB Coordinator Colette McIntyre, musician Jan Greer, Riverside’s Pam Ledwich and Helena Partnerships’ Craig Fletcher.
Pam Ledwich said: “Now in its fourth year, St Helens Got Talent is a great way of channelling young people’s energies into something positive.
“All too often young people are labelled as anti-social but this event challenges these kind of stereotypes and proves that the vast majority of young people are responsible citizens who have a lot to offer within the community.
“The standard of entries was really high and in addition to the new talent, we were delighted to welcome back last year’s winners rock group Carnage and dancer Hannah Barr.”
Councillor Susan Murphy, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Safer Communities and Youth, added: “St Helens got Talent was a real celebration of all that’s good about young people.
“Their creativity, energy and talent shone through and showed that we’ve got a lot to be proud about when we talk about young people and their contribution to their communities.”
Caption: St. Helens Got Talent Winners pictured on stage with 'the Judges' at The Theatre Royal in St. Helens