Dorset Council report that exceptional young people in care were celebrated for their achievements at a special awards ceremony at Monkey World in Wareham. Young people were joined by their foster carers and social workers for the event.
There were four main categories of awards handed out, with each nominee being given a gift bag and certificate.
Kai, nominee for the Award for Character and Resilience said: “Recognition for children in care is very important. It is not the easiest route, so the recognition is really nice.”
Kai’s foster carer, Ceri added: “I think it’s just great that the children are recognised for all of their perseverance. Any event that celebrates children in care is fantastic. And to hold the event at Monkey World to make it not so formal makes it a more relaxed event which is welcome.”
The four main categories of awards, delivered by Virtual School Head Teacher, Lisa Linscott, were:
- Award for Qualification Success
- Award for Significant Achievement
- Award for Determination and Progress
- Award for Character and Resilience
In addition, there were four Virtual School Headteacher Outstanding Achievement Awards and another awarded by the Executive Director of Children’s Services, Theresa Leavy. These young people were nominated by their schools, social workers, foster carers and their Virtual School leads.
Cllr Andrew Parry, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children, Education, Skills and Early Help said: “The EPIC Awards are always an amazing event, but this year really took it to a higher level with a superb initiative to host it at the wonderful Monkey World here in Dorset.”
“It’s so important to recognise children and young peoples’ achievements and education and the effort they put into their learning. The opportunity to acknowledge and show how proud Dorset Council is of our children in care and everything they are aiming to achieve is incredibly humbling for me as the portfolio holder and so inspiring for them in going onto achieve their hopes, dreams and ambitions.”
“Our foster carers change the lives of our young people who need it most. Demand for foster carers is high in Dorset at the moment, particularly for teenagers. Our foster carers tell us it’s a really rewarding thing to do so if you’d be interested in becoming a foster carer there is lots of information available.”
During the event, a presentation was given by Education Team Leader at Monkey World, Annie, entitled “why families matter” all about the organisations fostering programme and the importance of families to the primates held at the Dorset attraction.
Following the announcement of the awards there was a raffle of prizes kindly donated by businesses across Dorset such as Swanage Railway, Rock Reef, Abbotsbury Swannery and Snowtrax. The guests then had the rest of the afternoon to explore Monkey World and see the wide range of monkeys for themselves.
If you’d like to find out more in-person, the fostering team hold regular fostering drop-in events across Dorset.