Coventry’s care leavers were celebrated in a ceremony honouring their achievements and successes at the Albany Theatre at the Coventry Care Leavers' Conference and Awards Ceremony.
The event included performances from the house band, Digital Swing, a performance from the theatre company Loudmouth on how young people may become involved in sexual exploitation and a talk from keynote speaker, David Akinsanya, who grew up in care and went on to have a very successful career in broadcasting. He is currently an active campaigner for children in care.
There were also stalls from various organisations with information about the kind of support, education and training on offer to young people who are leaving care.
The event was organised by the Route 21 Team in partnership with the Participation Team. Route 21 provides social work and personal advice to young people in care who are aged 15 and over and includes support to those care leavers who are about to leave care as well as to those care leavers who are now living independently.
Awards were presented by Cllr Ann Lucas, Leader of Coventry City Council, Cllr Michael Hammon, Lord Mayor of Coventry and by Yolanda Corden, Interim Assistant Director of Children’s Services.
Yolanda said: “The Care Leavers' Conference and Awards Ceremony was a great celebration of our young people and their achievements. It also gave them the chance to ask questions of stallholders about their futures and opportunities and support open to them. There are many remarkable young people in the care of Coventry.”
The Awards Ceremony celebrated the achievements of the young people who attended, with categories such as Fit For Life, Safe & Sound, Education Awards, Community Champion award and Care Leaver of the Year award.
Cllr Ann Lucas said: “It’s wonderful to see events like this that celebrate the hard work of young people, especially young people in care. I’m delighted that I was able to attend to help present some of the awards. They should all be really proud of themselves for what they’ve achieved.”
The Care Leavers' Conference and Awards Ceremony took place at 3pm on 28 October at the Albany Theatre.