Southend’s Looked After Children shine!
Published Tuesday 2nd October 12 in Council - news and information releases news
A spectacular awards ceremony saw 50 of Southend’s Looked After Children win accolades and prizes for a host of achievements.
The glittering event was attended by proud foster carers, along with the Worshipful the Mayor of Southend, Councillor Sally Carr, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council's Executive Councillor for Children and Learning, Councillor James Courtenay, and many other dignitaries.
Award winners ranged from six years old up to university students.
They were celebrated for academic achievements, outstanding community work and were also recognised for their other gifts and talents.
Younger children received certificates and book tokens, while many of the older ones were given bursaries from a variety of sources including Rotary Clubs, Essex Police and local businesses.
Foster carers Mick and Ellen O'Brien, who have been fostering since 2007 said: "We really enjoy fostering and find it very rewarding.
"We are very proud that the two children we look after were nominated and received an award.
"It is good that we can show them that when you work hard and apply yourself, people recognise your hard work.
"For us as foster carers we can see the positive impact on the whole family."
Meanwhile, foster carers, Carol and Garry Cockrill, were similarly delighted. Carol said: "We all had a great time at the awards ceremony.
"We have been fostering with Southend-on-Sea Borough Council for three years and have cared for seven children on a long term basis plus a few on respite.
"This is now the second time we have had the privilege of seeing children we have fostered be recognised and awarded for their efforts and progress.
"It is a pleasure to see the pride and joy on the children's faces as they collect their awards. For some it may be the first acknowledged achievement of their lives.
"For us as carers it is very rewarding to see how the children grow in confidence and self esteem as we invest time and patience with the support of the excellent team at Southend."
Councillor James Courtenay said: "It was an honour to take part in this moving and thrilling event.
"These awards are a magnificent achievement and very well-deserved by our young people who are reaching great heights despite some very challenging circumstances.
"The fact that they are flourishing so successfully, is a tribute to their own hard work and to the nurturing they receive from their wonderful foster families who do everything they can to share their hearts and homes to offer the best possible care."