MORE than 250 people enjoyed an extravaganza show at Linden Hall to celebrate the achievements and successes of Northumberland’s looked-after children.
Dozens of these youngsters were nominated for awards by their social workers, foster carers and residential childcare officers. Accolades were presented for excellence in personal achievement, education and sports as well as group project achievements.
And for the sixth Celebrating Achievement Awards, children and young people from the Northumberland County Council Children in Care Council – Voices Making Choices (VMC), Young Voices Making Choices (YVMC) and Future Route – decided to organise entertainment alongside a showcase of project achievements.
VMC gave an update of its activities, alongside the premiere of its new training DVD, My Super Social Worker... My View. Guest speaker at the event was Newcastle Eagles (basketball) player/head coach Fabulous Flournoy and there was a performance from singer Kelly Harrison.
VMC member Hannah Bartlett said: “I thought the event went really well. Everyone presenting did an amazing job and we had a great turnout.
“Everyone did really well with their speaking and some amazing young people got their awards. Everyone has achieved a lot this year and I can’t wait to see everyone back next year with hopefully more people nominated and some new faces.”
The county council, as a ‘corporate parent’, is leading the drive to support and improve the life opportunities and successes of this vulnerable group of children.
Policy member for children’s services, Coun Robert Arckless, congratulated all the winners and the young people who made the event so vibrant and enjoyable.
A recent report to the council’s corporate parenting panel showed that in Northumberland, they are progressing year-on-year at a higher rate than the national average for looked-after children and levels of attainment exceed national standards.
The success has coincided with the introduction of the Northumberland Virtual School for looked-after children, which is a mechanism to enable the effective co-ordination of services to champion their educational needs.
It ensures every pupil has an education support worker and has developed alternative curriculum programmes to increase their engagement.