13 September 2019

Volunteers are 'rocks' behind Rock Challenge success

Peterhead Academy is about to embark on its 20th year of participation, and resounding success, in the UK Rock Challenge. Often seen as simply a performing arts competition, the roots of the Rock Challenge are in helping young people enjoy school and live pro-active and positive lifestyles.

Biology teacher and Rock Challenge veteran, Lynne Greig will be a part of it all for the 14th time this year and has seen it from all angles as a performer, volunteer and teacher. Having grown up in Peterhead, Lynne recalls how much of an impact taking part had on her.

She said: “I was shy at school but I loved the fact I could go on stage and become a different person. I’m more confident now because of it.”

Lynne now coordinates the school’s participation in the project; looking after admin and paperwork, getting a cast and crew of 90 (or so) to the Premier Finals (reserved for the consistently high performing teams) in Grimsby each year and coordinating a team of volunteers, including her mum and sister.

As Lynne explains: “We couldn’t do it without the support of so many willing and talented volunteers. It really draws people in as they can see how much the young people develop through their participation and it’s brilliant being part of such a community-spirited creative team. My mum and my sister love it too.

“It started out as a parent committee and now includes people from all corners of the community. Last time, we won national awards for both visual enhancement and set design, and that’s very much a team effort. We welcome anyone whether you have professional experience of performing arts or you’re just keen to pick up a paint brush and get involved.”

The team held their AGM on 9 September and are planning a party this session to mark their 20th year of participation. A Student Leadership Team will be a new element of the planning this time charged with helping pull it all together.

Lynne added: “Every year I complain it’s a lot of work but what you gain from it makes it so worthwhile. I know so many more of our pupils because of the relationship I build with them through Rock Challenge. Some of those who have been involved in previous years have followed career paths based on their experiences, in anything from stage crew to tech or performance. It’s really great to see.”

Lynne studied in Dundee and Leeds, and taught in Wakefield before returning to the Blue Toon. Speaking about her experiences of working in Peterhead she said: “I love it here. The kids are so enthusiastic. I was always so keen to leave when I was young but once I was away from the seaside I really missed it.

“People don’t appreciate Peterhead but it’s so friendly and there’s a real community feel which our probationer teachers respond really well to.

“I thought I wanted to be a doctor, then a forensic scientist and then I realised I had a love for explaining things and decided to become a teacher. Other people might make more money but I definitely get more enjoyment out of my job.”

If you’re keen to become part of the Rock Challenge Peterhead team, you can contact Lynne by emailing lynne.greig@aberdeenshire.gov.uk