The Greater Manchester Care Leaver Awards were held at the Royal Northern College of Music on 26th October 2016. Now in its fourth year, the awards recognised the amazing achievements of young people who have experience of the care system in the Greater Manchester area, as well as their supporting parents, carers, families and social workers. The annual awards are organised and sponsored by The Greater Manchester Looked After Children Forum and Greater Manchester Higher. 182 nominations were received across the eleven categories (which include families, sport, community work, college, apprenticeships, careers and of course higher education) from all ten local authorities in Greater Manchester. The highlight of the night was the recital of a brand new poem, Care Leaver, written by Chancellor and Scots Markar Jackie Kay MBE.
This year NNECL sponsored a new award, the Key Influencers Award, recognising the important role of individuals in advising and supporting young people in care. The award recognises the special contributions of foster carers, key workers, social workers, charity workers, or even someone that works in a college or university. The winner of the award received £100.
The Key Influencers Award was won by 29 year old care leaver, Janine who works as a youth worker for Pure-Insight. The charity, which is based in Stockport, supports care leavers aged 16-28. Janine runs drop-in cafe called Café Zest and works with care leavers to get their views heard by the council and help them improve the lives of care leavers in Stockport. You can follow Janine on Twitter @JanineInsight . Congratulations Janine!