Wirral’s unsung heroes – individuals who make a huge difference to the lives of local children in care – were celebrated in a joyful ceremony at the Floral Pavilion this week.
Young people who are within, or have recently left, the care system in Wirral were given the chance to say thank you to that special someone who they feel has made a massive difference in their lives over this past year.
They were invited to nominate a person – be it a foster carer, teacher, social worker, advisor, parent or sibling – who they feel has been there for them with a friendly ear to help them through difficult times.
It total, 111 different people were nominated by 96 young people and all these caring individuals were celebrated at a special ‘Listen to Me’ awards ceremony, which took place at the Floral Pavilion Theatre and Conference Centre in New Brighton on Wednesday 7th June.
The event was an opportunity for young people to recognise and say a face-to-face thank you to that special person, for listening and being a positive influence on their lives. For many children and young people, this support is life-changing.
Everyone who was nominated attended the ceremony and received a certificate and a copy of the nomination they received from a number of presenters representing Wirral Council, including Director of Children, Family and Education, Simone White, Assistant Director of Children and Families, Kerry Mehta, and the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Children, Young People and Education Committee – Cllr Sue Powell-Wilde and Cllr Chris Carubia.
There was a party-like atmosphere with pizza, chips, sandwiches and drinks. There was also face painting available for those who wanted it and a magic mirror photo booth, while the popcorn and candy machines proved particularly popular.
Cllr Sue Powell-Wilde, Chair of the Children, Young People and Education Committee for Wirral Council, said, “Supporting, protecting and nurturing Children Looked After – as well as those who have left the care system – in Wirral is a massive responsibility. It can often be a very complex, sensitive and intensive process, that relies upon the expertise, experience, care and patience of a range of people, in many different roles.
“What is so special about these awards is that it is the young people themselves who are showing their appreciation of an individual – or a couple or group of people – who has made a really positive difference in their lives, sometimes even by simply taking the time to listen.”
Some of the comments made by young people on their nomination forms show just how much of an impact the care they receive has on their life.
- Nominating her foster carer, one said: “… she has taken me in and given me a loving home. I couldn’t ask to be anywhere else.”
- Talking about her social worker, another said: “They have helped me through so much in my life… through my hardest times and has shown me who I really am.”
- Nominating her Learning Support Assistant, a child said: “She helps me and listens to me even when I am in a bad mood.”
- And paying tribute to her mum, another added: “Because my mum made changes in her life so that I could go back home to her. She listened to me and was there for me all the time. She never gave up and I am so proud of her. I am lucky to have my mum. She listens to me and helps me all the time.”
Image: Birkenhead News