The incredible achievements and successes of our young people in care were celebrated at the 10th Annual ‘Celebrating Us’ Children in Care Council (CiCC) Awards on Saturday (7 October) at Castle Green Hotel in Kendal.
More than 200 guests attended the awards ceremony, which was jointly hosted by Cumberland Council and Westmorland and Furness Council, which celebrates our cared for children and young people and the staff and carers who support them.
Guests at the awards enjoyed a ‘red carpet’ welcome, afternoon tea and a raffle during the ceremony. While the 94 children who attended also enjoyed a range of fun activities including bowling, crafts and cake decorating.
In her welcome speech, Cllr Sue Sanderson, Westmorland and Furness council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Educations and Skills, said: “This awards event was originally the idea of the Children in Care Council and each year the event has got better and better. The awards celebrate the successes of our cared for children and young people and the staff and carers who support them. Overall, our CiCC council continues to grow and thrive, engaging more young people in more activities and providing a platform for them to help influence and shape the services that they receive from the council.”
This year there were almost 200 nominations, across 13 award categories, which included the Super Special Award, Worker of the Year, Foster Carer of the Year, Small but Might Achievement of the Year and Special Achievement of the Year (over and under 18), Educational Achievement of the Year (primary, secondary and post 16 and the Promise Ambassadors Award.
All the categories were shortlisted and the judged by young people from the Children in Care Council, our Care Leavers Forums and the Virtual School.
Winners who received awards on the day included social worker Emma Glaister who won Worker of the Year (Cumberland) and in her nomination was described as being ‘kind and caring’ and also Max Mortimer, a teaching assistant from St Cuthbert’s Catholic School in Wigton, who won the Super Special Award (a new category this year) for being ‘very patient and kind, helping with maths, TT Rockstars and break times’.
The ceremony was hosted by members of the Children in Care Council, with awards presented by Andrew Seekings, Chief Executive Cumberland Council, Lynn Berryman, Assistant Director for Children’s and Families wellbeing at Cumberland, Jonathan Taylor, Assistant Director of Children and Families at Westmorland and Furness, Martin Birch, the Director of Children and Family Wellbeing for Cumberland and Mil Vasic, Director of Children’s Services Westmorland and Furness, Ed Strong, Virtual Head for Cumberland, and Jane Fallon, Virtual Head for Westmorland and Furness.
In his closing speech at the awards Cllr Jonathan Brook, Leader of Westmorland and Furness Council, said: “As corporate parents we have always sought to do the best for the children and young people in our care. Together with social workers, teachers, foster carers, councillors, we all have the best interests of children at heart and are here to ensure they reach their potential. Today, we’ve recognised the achievements of our children and young people, proving that the support we offer together can make a difference. Every one of you have achieved fantastic things and you should all be proud.”
In her closing speech, Emma Williamson, Deputy Leader of Cumberland Council, said: “These awards have been a huge success over the past 10 years, and I’d like to thank every person who’s been a part of these awards during that time – children, young people, professionals and foster carers. Finally, I’d also like to say a special congratulations and thank you to our Children in Care Councils which continue to grow and help shape the services the council are offering.”
To find out more about how you can help to support young people in care across Cumbria visit cumbriafostering.org.uk