|Recognition for young care leavers
The achievements of young care leavers have been recognised at Wigan Borough’s annual Care Leaver Awards.
Eleven young people won awards and many more were nominated for achievements including contributions to their local communities, commitment to education courses, parenting skills, showing resilience and overcoming adversity.
Chad Grundy, 20, from Ashton, won this year’s Care Leaver of the Year Award, for his work supporting other young people to achieve through the Prince’s Trust and the care leavers’ council.
‘Today has been surreal because I definitely wasn’t expecting to win. I’ve really enjoyed encouraging other young people to do well as I find it easy to relate to young people so it was a surprise to get the award. Days like this are really important as I think sometimes people might assume that young people who have been in care might not achieve anything, or might not be interested in helping others but this proves that we do want to achieve and help others.’
Wigan Council offers support to young care leavers including providing each young person with a Personal Advisor to guide them through finding housing, education opportunities or work and to give social and emotional support where needed. Young care leavers are also given the chance to join the care leavers’ council and help influence decisions the council makes about services for young people living in care.
Councillor Jenny Bullen, Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People, said,
‘We want all of our young care leavers to go on to achieve success in life and it’s really important that their achievements are recognised so that they have confidence in themselves to help them do this. Many of the young people nominated for these awards have overcome significant challenges in their lives and I am very proud of them for being so resilient and, despite the challenges, going on to do well in life and to help others.’
This year the ‘Progression Award’ was re-named the ‘Trish Hurlock Progression Award’, in memory of Wigan Council Leaving Care Personal Advisor Trish Hurlock, who died earlier this year and who had worked closely with many of the young people who won awards.
The event was sponsored by local organisation, Pathways.
The following young people won awards at Wigan’s Care Leaver Awards 2017:
Community Contribution: Ricia Derricott
Sports Personality: Declan Clark
Trish Hurlock Progression Award: John Heaps
Overcoming Adversity: Adele Lally
Special Achievement: Molly Bowden, Clara Heathcote, Brislida Lleshi
Parent of the Year: David Ball, Kiera Charnock
Academic Achiever: Kianna Hughes
Care Leaver of the Year: Chad Grundy