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Awards celebrate the success of record number of Greater Manchester care leavers

19 Oct 2017

On 17 October the RNCM hosted the 5th Annual Greater Manchester Care Leaver Awards

Andy Burnham

The awards recognise the amazing achievements of young people who have experience of the care system in Greater Manchester, as well as their supporting parents, carers, families and social workers.  

The annual awards are organised and sponsored by The Greater Manchester Looked after Children Forum and Greater Manchester Higher.

A care leaver is a young person who has been looked after by their local authority, in foster or residential care for 13 weeks since the age of 14, and can be “amongst the most vulnerable young people in society” according to Barnardo’s.   

The awards ceremony seeks to recognise that many care leavers achieve success despite experiencing very difficult circumstances during their lives.

Co-organiser Emma Lewis-Kalubowila, who works for the University, said: “We were overwhelmed this year to receive 218 nominations across 11 different categories – and the shortlisting panel were astounded by the hard work, dedication and resilience shown by young adults who have overcome significant obstacles to achieve success in different areas of their lives”. 

The awards are coordinated by The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, The University of Salford, The University of Bolton and the Care Leavers Association; and supported by Greater Manchester Higher. 

Sam Kalubowila, Head of Greater Manchester Higher, said: “This award ceremony is the culmination of a lot of hard work from staff across Greater Manchester’s 10 local authorities and leaving care teams; and dedicated staff in our partner Universities who are passionate about supporting and recognising the hard work of care levers.

"The evening is a wonderful opportunity to shout about the incredible successes of these young people; and are a celebratory evening, filled with performances and we’re really pleased this year to have a keynote speech from Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester who had the opportunity to see how fantastically care leavers in Greater Manchester have achieved.” 

Pictured: Andy Burnham giving the keynote speech, courtesy of @McrXmasDinner