A successful placement with Stratford-based Fred Theatre was recognised last week when Holly Hayes received the University of Birmingham’s College of Arts & Law Internship Student of the Year Award.

Over the past few months Fred Theatre has welcomed two interns from the University of Birmingham’s Experience Arts scheme. Artistic director, Robert Ball says: “It has been a wonderful experience for all of us. Holly, and fellow student Hannah Bainbridge, have made a real difference to us. The work Holly has undertaken in marketing and business development will have a far reaching impact as the company looks ahead to another year of growth.

“Having Hannah in as assistant director on two of our current schools’ shows was enormous fun. The cast welcomed her and appreciated her always positive, organised and fun approach to the work.

“I’m enormously grateful to the University of Birmingham for the opportunity to take part in the scheme. I know our two students have gained a lot from it, and I hope their experience is a help to them as they finish their studies and seek future employment.”

The university describes the programme as “unique” and says it “allows students to gain hands on experience of working in a leading arts organisation in the West Midlands region.” Around 30 organisations worked with the university team this year to create 100 paid opportunities for students to gain access to and experience in the heritage and arts sectors.