The achievements of more than 360 Somerset children looked after and young people in care have been celebrated at the return of the Annual Achievement Awards.
Somerset County Council recognised 364 children and young people for their outstanding efforts following nominations from social workers, leaving care workers, schools, and other Children’s Services professionals.
The entrants were split across two age groups, juniors aged 0-12 years, and seniors ages 13+, and 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.
Cllr Tessa Munt, Somerset County Council Lead Executive Member for Children and Families, said “It was an absolute joy to attend this event and hear so many inspirational stories from our children and young people.
“I want to thank all our young people who have been so brave and resilient, those who won, were nominated, and those who are living life to the full each and every day. Thank you to our social workers and foster carers and thank you to all the children and young people who made this event so special.”
The annual Achievement Awards were paused due to the pandemic but returned this year to take place at Taunton Rugby Club on Wednesday 27th July, organised by the County Council’s Participation and Engagement team and hosted by members of the Somerset In Care and Leaving Care Council (SiCC & SLCC) who welcomed guests, made speeches and presented awards.
Lots of fun activities were also available during the awards including a bouncy assault course, balloon animal making, Mocktails (alcohol free cocktails), a magician, a photo booth, music, glitter art, face painting and more.
R was a junior winner in the Personal Achievement category. Her nomination read: “R has had a big year, finishing her first year at primary school and then moving from her foster home to live with her mummy and daddy. She lives with spina bifida which means she uses a wheelchair, however she never lets this hold her back and makes the most of all of the opportunities available to her. In the last few months she has shown herself to be both resilient and confident going on bike rides, on fairground and theme park rides and even ice-skating! You are such a lovely, happy and smiley person R and everyone finds you a joy to be around. Well done for managing such a big transition to your new family, it’s clear that they love you very much.”
Social Workers and teachers were also commended at the event, with young people nominating their workers for the Children’s Social Care Worker of the Year award with 40 nominations received across three categories. There is an urgent need for more foster carers in Somerset. To help change a child’s story, please visit www.fosteringinsomerset.org.uk or call 0800 587 9900 and speak to our friendly team. Follow us on Facebook @fosteringinsomerset or Twitter @fostersomerset.