Awards ceremony celebrates achievements of children in care
Posted on: 19 March 2012
Tribute was paid to over 270 of Devon’s children and young people in care at a special awards ceremony held in Exeter.
Devon County Council’s Children in Care Awards is an annual event to celebrate the achievements of children in the care of the local authority through foster or residential placements. The event was hosted by Exeter FM‘s Mark Tyler, who was himself adopted.
This year’s awards were held at Devon’s Crealy Adventure Park, and children and their nominated guests were invited to visit the Animal Realm, enjoy the soft play and after the ceremony experience four of the parks main rides which were opened especially for the occasion.
The children and young people were nominated for a variety of achievements including those in sport, at school and clubs, dramatic and musical performances, their own personal development in overcoming difficulties, and for their transition in leaving care. The nominations come from their carers, teachers, head teachers or social workers.
Nominees, who ranged from just aged five years, to 21, were all presented with a star award and certificate.
The event was attended by Devon County Council Chairman Jeremy Yabsley, and cabinet member for children and young people’s health and wellbeing, Councillor Andrea Davis.
Cllr Davis said: “I was honoured once again to be invited to this truly inspirational awards, which is a wonderful opportunity for us to pay tribute to the many and varied talents and strengths of the young people in our care.
“The breadth and depth of nominations shows their vast range of achievements, which never fail to leave me with a huge sense of pride. Some have achieved a personal goal, others have dedicated themselves to helping others, or their local communities, but all are truly remarkable young people who have not had the easiest start in life, but have refused to let that get in their way.
“I would like to thank all the people who sent their nominations and without whom these young people would remain unsung; and also to the organisers, to Mark Tyler for once again proving a superb compere for the evening, and all the entertainers and helpers who made the event so special. I’d also like to say a big thanks to Crealy for hosting the event – the staff were wonderful and went out of their way to make sure everyone enjoyed the night, and thanks also go to Kiss & Bake Up and Especially Balloons who provided superb cakes and displays.
“I’d like to pay tribute to Devon’s foster carers and residential care workers, who play such a vital role in providing the love, support and stability that you need to flourish. It is testament to their ongoing commitment that we have so many nominations this year.”
At the event, all the children and young people had the opportunity to have their photos taken and Buddy Bear (Crealy’s Mascot) made a special photo appearance.
Devon County Council Chairman Jeremy Yabsley said: “Children come into the care system through no fault of their own, and it is our responsibility, as their guardians and as human beings, to make sure that they are given the same opportunities, support and nurturing that we all take as a basic right.
“Young people need to feel valued in a society which sometimes feels is increasingly competing against each other, and to have champions who will fight their corner when needed.
“Their achievements need to be recognised and celebrated. This annual event is a chance for us to do just that, and I am really honoured to have attended this year in my capacity as County Council Chairman.”
Rod Pearson, Managing Director at Crealy Great Adventure Parks, said: “We are really proud to have hosted and supported such a worthwhile event. We worked with the organisers to make it really special for attendees by opening the Animal Realm and some of our popular rides including The Vortex, Flying Dutchman, Maximus and the Carousel. We hope everyone had a fantastic night and hope to work with the organisers again.”
Quotes from some of the young people who attended the event included:
Shannon, 17 (pictured) -”The awards evening made me get out for the night!”
Jazmine, 15- ‘This is my third time of coming to the awards. It’s cool being at Crealy, I’m sort of excited about going on the rides!”
Kay-Marie, 20 and Jay, 19- “Third time round for us! Im well pleased but I’m a bit old!”Posted in: Health and Wellbeing