The children looked after Celebration Awards recognise the achievements of Torbay’s children and young people for whom we are their corporate parents.

Hosted virtually by Torbay Virtual School on Friday 29 January, 25 children and young people 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 virtual event, which was also attended by Councillors, Children’s Services Senior Leadership Team, TDA, Torbay Youth Trust, and social workers.

After the event was formally opened by Nancy Meehan, Director of Children’s Services, guests got to hear from a special guest speaker – Ashley John-Baptiste. Ashley is 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, Torbay Council, said; “It was an absolute honour to be (virtually) 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.

“Despite the lockdown, we were determined to still recognise and celebrate all of our children looked after and their achievements. It was an inspiring and fun evening and I would like to thank TDA for sponsoring the event”.

Nancy Meehan, Director of Children’s Services at Torbay Council, 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. After a year that brought more challenges than ever, it was great to see so many children, young people and their carers get together (albeit virtually) to make positive memories. I’d like to personally thank everyone who made the awards possible and a successful evening”.

Jane Inett, Head of Torbay Virtual School, said; “This year we had to think a little differently on how we could host these extremely important awards. We chose to theme them on the popular family show ‘Saturday Night Takeaway’ sadly minus Ant and Dec, but we were extremely fortunate to have the support of Sounds Communities and our very special guest speaker Ashley John-Baptise.

“What was impressive was the way the carers had supported and engaged with the event. Rooms were decorated with balloons and banners, disco lights were flashing and everyone joined in with the games and the disco at the end of the formalities”.


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