7 November, 2018
NCLW 2018 Celebration Event was a huge success
National Care Leaver’s Week 2018 (NCLW) took place on Wednesday 24th October to Tuesday 30th October. As part of the week’s events the Youth Support Team supported care leavers from across Gloucestershire to host an event to celebrate the achievements of Gloucestershire care leavers and to launch Gloucestershire County Council’s new local offer for care leavers. Read more about the offer here >
The event took place on Friday 26th October and was hosted by young people from the Care Leaver’s Forum, Becca Rogers and Aiden Quinn.
A pop-up art exhibition was a highlight of the event which showcased work from young people who attend an art group set up by Gina Duncan, herself a care leaver who now works for the YST Housing Team.
To mark the NCLW 2018 theme of Reach for the Stars, a care leaver’s hall of fame had been put together which showed celebrities who had spent time in the care system and had gone on to achieve great things.
The main celebration event included the screening of Our Voice, a YST film commissioned by the Care Leaver’s Forum for the event. The film gives voice to and focuses on the experiences of care leavers – you can see the film here >
There were key note speakers, Kat Aukett – Operations Director for YST and Renee James-Bryan who gave a heart-warming speech based on her experiences of the care system and of being a care leaver.
The main focus of the event was the presentation of awards to young people who had achieved incredible things despite the odds, since leaving care. These Achievement Awards have 5 categories:
- Educational Achievement
- Personal Progression
- Personal Achievement and
- Inspirational Young Person.
Around 20 young people were presented with awards at the event and many more named who weren’t able to attend. The awards were presented by Cllr. Richard Boyles, Cllr. Suzanne Williams, Cllr. Andrew Miller, Cllr. Eva Ward and Mark Bone, Head of Permanency for YST.
Ellen Sanders, Assistant Team Manager at YST who has supported the young people in hosting this event said:
The event was a huge success, and hopefully will be the start of many; but for me what made this event so special was that young people form the Care Leavers forum lead on everything, the initial ideas, the planning, organising, hosting, IT even the photography on the day. Such talent we have that should be celebrated’’
Cllr Richard Boyles, cabinet member for Children and young people said:
The event was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our care leavers. These awards are evidence of the hard work and determination they put in to achieve their goals.
“I was very impressed with the ceremony; it was great to see so much energy, positivity and organisational skills from everyone involved. It was most enjoyable.”
Becca Rogers who was one of the Care Leaver hosts for the event said:
’It was a great opportunity for young people to voice their opinions to ‘the big suits’ whilst still being a fun and laid back atmosphere, with awards, videos, chocolates and a whole buffet for everyone to enjoy, the only thing left to do, is make next year an even better success!’’
It is hoped that this event and awards ceremony will become a mainstay in Gloucestershire to celebrate and recognise the unique talents of our young people in care and care leavers.