THERE was plenty of people calling her name, when Cheryl Cole turned up at a Wearside school.
The pint-sized pop star proved the perfect distraction from humdrum lessons for pupils at Oxclose School, in Washington.
The singer made a surprise appearance following the announcement that the Cheryl Cole Foundation will help disadvantaged young people in Prince’s Trust clubs across the North East.
The Geordie songstress surprised pupils at the Dilston Road school where she spoke to them about The Prince’s Trust xl clubs, which help young people at risk of exclusion and those in danger of leaving school with few or no qualifications.
Cheryl said: “Meeting the fantastic young people at Oxclose showed me how The Prince’s Trust is making a real difference and giving them hope for the future.
“I grew up in an underprivileged area in Newcastle and often felt like I wouldn’t have a chance to succeed.
“It would have been great to have a Prince’s Trust xl club at my school back then.
“Fortunately, I was given a break – but many don’t get the chance.
“Too many young people face issues such as bullying or problems at home. I want to give even more young people in the North East a chance to succeed.”
Nathan Moore, a pupil at Oxclose school, said: “It was amazing to meet Cheryl. We didn’t know she was coming so it was a complete surprise when she turned up.”
The 16-year-old moved to Washington from Ireland last year and was referred to The Prince’s Trust xl programme at the school, which helped him make friends, study for additional qualifications and gain a college place.
He said: “The xl club has really helped me to improve in my studies and I can’t thank The Prince’s Trust enough. Cheryl was really down to earth and was really interested in how the course was helping us. It was one of the best days ever.”
David Beavis, regional director for The Prince’s Trust in the North East, said: “It is fantastic to have the support of the Cheryl Cole Foundation here in the North East.
“Cheryl is clearly passionate about supporting young people and we’re over the moon that she is joining our mission to help the most disadvantaged youngsters get their lives on track.”