Boxer pulls no punches on adoption

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FORMER world boxing champion Glenn McCrory praised the hard work and talents of Northumberland’s looked after children and young people at a recent ceremony.

More than 140 looked after young people were nominated in the county council’s fifth annual Children’s Outstanding Achievements Awards 2012. Certificates were presented for excellence in personal achievement, education and sport as well as group projects.

Mr McCrory, who held the IBF version of the cruiserweight world championship and is now a commentator and pundit for Sky Sports, said: “Looked after children and young people is a group close to my heart.

“My parents fostered for about 30 years for children who needed long-term homes and families. Congratulations to all of the children and young people, I wish them every success to attain more in the future.”

Olympic torch bearing boxing coach and Northumberland foster carer Les Welsh began the evening in Blyth with a spotlight Olympic torch run to the stage, where he joined young people from his Empire School of Boxing.

Nicole Fenwick, deputy chairman of the Children in Care Council ‘Voices Making Choices’, said: “For this fifth Achievement Awards event, we decided to build upon the success of last year.

“There were so many nominations this year that we are organising a separate Christmas celebration event for the under sevens.

“It really means a lot seeing all of the young people that I have worked with over the last few months getting their awards.”

Mr McCrory is also backing the county council’s drive to get more people coming forward to apply to be a foster carer. It includes calling on people who do not wish to adopt children to pass on its message to friends, family members and colleagues who may be interested.

This has been highlighted as it is currently National Adoption Week. The awareness campaign runs until Sunday.

For more information about the foster care system and getting involved, visit www.northumberland.gov.uk/adoption