The efforts and achievements of more than 360 Somerset children and young people in care have been celebrated at the return of the Annual Achievement Awards.
367 children and young people 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 – Virtual School Award for achievements 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.
The event was held at Dillington House on Tuesday 27th July, organised by Somerset County Council and hosted by members of the Somerset In Care and Leaving Care Council (SiCC & SLCC) who welcomed guests, made speeches and presented awards.
Nominations were anonymised before a panel selected the top three and overall winner of each category. Winners and runners up, along with their guests, were invited to attend the awards.
An extract from the nomination for the junior winner of the Personal Achievement Award read:
“He (young person) first became looked after in February 2021- as for all children this was a really distressing event and turned his whole world upside down- he had only ever known life with Mum. He has attended school full time and even joined a weekly sports club. He was so proud to tell me he had also learnt how to tie his shoe laces and hopes to learn bike riding next. He has so many things on his shoulders, lots to be carrying around, however does not let this stop him from achieving. He engages with adults and tries hard every day. School share their love for him, he shows humour, kindness and compassion- even when he is hurting. His achievements deserve recognition…despite such difficult circumstances he shines”.
Social Workers were also commended at the event, with young people nominating their workers for the Children’s Social Care Worker of the Year award with 41 nominations received across three categories.
Event sponsors Yeovil Rotary Club and Route One Advocacy attended the celebrations, along with other guests including Somerset’s Lead Member for Children’s Services Cllr Frances Nicholson, Leader Cllr David Fothergill and Director of Somerset Children’s Services, Julian Wooster.
Cllr Frances Nicholson said: “It is so important to celebrate the triumphs, resilience and efforts of Somerset’s Children Looked After, so I’d like to offer heartfelt congratulations to all the children and young people who were nominated in this year’s Annual Achievement Awards. I’d also like to thank our foster carers, providers and Children’s Services. I would particularly like to congratulate the young people in the Somerset In Care and Leaving Care Councils who spoke at the celebrations events or helped to run them, as well as gratefully acknowledging all the groups’ hard work throughout the year.’’ You can make a difference to a child or young person in care as a Foster Carer.
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Notes to editors
Sponsors of the event were:
Route One Advocacy
Yeovil Rotary Club
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