Special awards for a very special group of Torbay children

Torbay Weekly

Acts of kindness and sporting prowess were just two of the attributes recognised at a special awards ceremony in Torbay.

The children looked after Celebration Awards recognised the achievements of  a special group of children and young people.

Hosted virtually by Torbay Virtual School, 25 youngsters were presented with awards after being nominated by social workers, foster carers and teachers from Torbay Virtual School.

Now in their third year, the awards cover 13 categories; Act of Kindness, Overcoming Obstacles, Attainment, Personal Achievement, Attendance, Progress, Community Champion, Sporting Prowess, Creative Genius, Growth Mindset, Musical Maestro, Triple ‘A’ Award for Attainment, Attendance and Aspiration and Perseverance.

Award certificates for Primary and Secondary winners were sent out ahead of the event, ready for carers to present to their young people as soon as names were announced.

Over 180 children, young people, and their carers attended the special event, which was also attended by councillors, children’s services, TDA Torbay Youth Trust, and social workers.

After the event was formally opened by Nancy Meehan, Director of Children’s Services, guests heard from  guest speaker Ashley John-Baptiste, a Young BBC Broadcast and Journalist Presenter who gave an insight into his care experience and how he overcame his troubled childhood to study at one of the world’s best universities and then graduating with a 2.1.

Cllr Cordelia Law, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said; “It was an absolute honour to be present at these awards. Determination, increased confidence, resilience, positivity and enthusiasm were qualities that shone through in every category. This last year has been very tough for all young people, but we are extremely proud of how our children looked after and their Foster Families have dealt with all the difficulties they have faced during the pandemic."

Nancy Meehan said; “As a council one of the most important things we can do is create a place where children and young people feel safe, happy and can thrive. Not all of our local children have had the best start in life, that’s why it is important to celebrate the achievements of our cared for children who we have corporate parenting responsibilities for."