On 17th October 2017; the RNCM hosted the 5th Annual Greater Manchester Care Leaver Awards – which recognise the amazing achievements of young people who have experience of the care system in Greater Manchester, as well as their supporting parents, carers, families and social workers.  The annual awards are organised and sponsored by The Greater Manchester Looked after Children Forum and Greater Manchester Higher.

Bill Webster, Assistant Vice Chancellor (Development), was in attendance at the evening on behalf of the University of Bolton, presenting the University of Bolton sponsored ‘Sport and Leisure’ Award.

A care leaver is a young person who has been looked after by their local authority, in Foster or Residential care for 13 weeks since the age of 14, and can be “amongst the most vulnerable young people in society” according to Barnardo’s.

About the care leaver awards: The awards ceremony seeks to recognise that many Care Leavers achieve success despite experiencing very difficult circumstances during their lives. Co-organiser Emma Lewis-Kalubowila, who works for the University of Manchester said “we were overwhelmed this year to receive 218 nominations across 11 different categories – and the shortlisting panel were astounded by the hard work, dedication and resilience shown by young adults who have overcome significant obstacles to achieve success in different areas of their lives”.

There are 11 different categories where nominees will be rewarded on the night:

Key Influencers
Further Education
Higher Education- UG
Higher Education- PG
World of Work
All Round Inspirational Person

All nominees receive a goodie bag and certificate to recognise their achievements, and winners receive a generous prizes donated by supporting partners and charities which include all partner Universities, GMYN, Barnardo’s, UCAS, Catch22, Pure Insight and the Care Leavers Association.

Arron Pile, University of Salford said “We were delighted to see so many young people nominated across all categories; and it was wonderful to read the words of proud Foster Carers, Residential Workers, Social Workers and Key Workers – all recognising the achievements of their young people”.

The awards are coordinated by The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, The University of Salford, The University of Bolton and The Care Leavers Association; and supported by Greater Manchester Higher. Sam Kalubowila, Head of Greater Manchester Higher said “This award ceremony is the culmination of a lot of hard work from staff across Greater Manchester’s 10 local authorities and leaving care teams; and dedicated staff in our partner Universities who are passionate about supporting and recognising the hard work of care levers. The evening is a wonderful opportunity to shout about the incredible successes of these young people; and are a celebratory evening, filled with performances and we’re really pleased this year to have a keynote speech from Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester who had the opportunity to see how fantastically care leavers in Greater Manchester have achieved”.

Tweets from the evening are available using #GMCLAwards

By Jamie Bytheway, 16th October 2017

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