Somerset children in care’s achievements praised at annual Awards

The progress, positivity and achievements of Somerset children and young people looked after have been celebrated at their Annual Achievement Awards.

Annual Achievement Awards picture with BBC Ben McGrail

Somerset County Cllr Leigh Redman, Carolyn Drew, Sue White and BBC Somerset presenter Ben McGrail.

240 children were recognised for their efforts through nominations from Somerset County Council foster carers, schools, social and youth workers and other Children’s Services professionals. The children and young people, spanning toddlers to young adults, were commended across five categories:

  • Personal Achievement – showing resilience or personal development
  • Positive Pastimes – doing well in sport, music, social, arts or leisure activities
  • Education, Training and Employment – achieving at school, college, in training or work
  • Helping Others – helping or making a difference to other people
  • Courage – being brave in dealing with personal illness or tragedy, or helping and supporting those around them.

Among those nominated were the 11 to 16 year-olds who had created the ‘Dreams and Aspirations’ exhibition, celebrating their hopes and ambitions for the future, which launched Foster Care Fortnight in May. Their bright and brilliant artwork is currently on display at Taunton Library, following stints at the Brewhouse Theatre and Yeovil and Bridgwater Libraries.

Other young people’s commendations were given for volunteering with the RNLI and for rugby success, including winning the Sedgemoor Area competition and becoming county runners-up.

The awards event, which was held on Thursday 21 July at the Canalside venue in Bridgwater, gave children and young people a chance to meet others sharing similar experiences.

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families at Somerset County Council said: “I’d like to say a huge well done to all the children and young people who were nominated in this year’s Annual Achievement Awards. This event is so important for celebrating our children’s bravery, perseverance, resilience and selflessness in tough times. A big thank you to our Somerset In Care and Leaving Care Councils, who did a fantastic job arranging it.”

Awards host, BBC Somerset presenter Ben McGrail, said: “I loved being part of the event and heard so many uplifting and inspirational stories. These young people show such resilience, courage and positivity through often difficult circumstances so it was great to be able to celebrate them.”

You can make a difference to a child or young person in care as a Foster Carer in Somerset – visit www.fosteradoptsomerset.org.uk, phone 0800 587 9900, ‘like’ the Fostering in Somerset Facebook page or follow @fostersomerset on Twitter.

Or come along to Fostering in Somerset’s next information event on Thursday 11 August, 7pm to 9pm at Costa Coffee, Townsend Shopping Park, Shepton Mallet, BA4 5EG. Those who attend will get a free Costa coffee and cake.