Young people in Hull who are care leavers have been celebrated for their achievements, through a series of events during Care Leavers Week.
A week of events took place, from a football match and go-karting, to an awards ceremony, and a chance for care leavers to give their views on how they are supported by Hull City Council.
The city’s first Blue Diamond Awards were held during the week, attended by 38 care leavers, local businesses, councillors and people who work with and support those in care and care leavers.
The awards recognised young people’s achievements in every area of their lives in the face of adversity, including being an advocate for others, holding down a tenancy, healthy living, and educational achievements or simply trying something new.
Councillor Shane McMurray, portfolio holder for children’s services said: “What these young people have overcome with the odds stacked against them, in many circumstances is absolutely tremendous. They demonstrate the very best of Hull and show that no one should underestimate a child just because they have been supported by the care system.
“I also want to thank staff members who have shown continued dedication to their role in supporting the young people of Hull, as well as businesses who offer educational and working opportunities. I will continue appealing to any businesses who can help boost the future of our young people.”
There were five award categories sponsored by local businesses. One of the young people who won an award was recognised for participation; through dedication to activism and championing the voice of young people. This young person had taken part in a range of activities, campaigns and projects through the Warren. These included over 1,600 hours of personal development work, contributing to the ‘You Are What You Share’ campaign, taking part in Question Time hosted by UK Youth, contributing to the documentary, ‘Young Women in Lockdown – Unsilenced’ and has taken part in interviews with Calendar and Good Morning Britain, discussing issues affecting young people.
Another young person won an award for education. She is in her last year studying at the University of Hull and is doing extremely well, in spite of experiencing some personal challenges. The young person has remained determined and dedicated to completing her studies and hopes to progress onto a role working with professional sports teams. She also has aspirations to be her own boss and develop her own business which demonstrates her ambition and desire to be successful.
Hull City Council, along with organisations across the city, supports care leavers to live independently and to prepare for their futures, including help to access training and employment, and advice around mental health and wellbeing.
Room 42 of the Guildhall, in the Local Offer Team, work to improve things and create more opportunities for young people in all areas of the council as well as the local community. Any care leavers who would like to get involved or would like advice can email [email protected]. Businesses who can offer training, employment or support can also contact Room 42.
Care leavers are young people aged 16-25 who have spent time in local authority care before the age of 18.