Liverpool’s social care stars are to be celebrated in a glittering awards ceremony at St George’s Hall.
The Social Care Star Awards on Friday 20 November are the idea of the Children In Care Council, which acts as the voice of young people in care in Liverpool.
They have worked closely with Children’s Services and Culture Liverpool to put together the event, which will be hosted by Jay Hynd and Ellie Phillips from Bay TV Liverpool and opened by the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson.
As well as rewarding young people, foster carers and staff for outstanding achievements, the event will also feature music from MiC Lowry – critically acclaimed as one of the most exciting young RnB groups in the world – and 18 year old singer and care leaver Molly Fairclough who was chosen to perform following auditions.
Categories at the awards include ‘Rebel to Role Model’, which recognises a young person who has overcome life challenges to transform their life, and achievement awards for sport, performing arts and education. Also celebrated will be foster carers and social care staff for their work with children in care, families and partners.
Mayor Joe Anderson said: “Too often we only read bad stories about children in care, but I know the reality is that there are many success stories and the Star Awards is aimed at celebrating them.
“This will be an amazing evening which will feature some truly inspirational people and demonstrate the brilliant work that goes on every day to support our most vulnerable young people.”
Michael Binns, participation officer with Children’s Services and formerly Chair of Liverpool Children in Care Council, said: “This event is to celebrate the big family of Liverpool, from the corporate parents that are council workers, to foster carers and young people.
“It is the first time that we have had one big family celebration and the idea came from the Children in Care Council to celebrate how many different people are involved in supporting our young people.”
A number of sponsors have generously funded the cost of the evening. They are: Little League Sports; Signature Living; Liquid Logic; ICT Revolutions; School Improvement Service; Penny Lane Hotel; Liverpool FC; Everton In the Community, KPMG and MSP Global Ltd.
Molly, who is in the process of getting her own flat as she moves to living independently, said: “Being asked to sing at the awards is huge for me as it has given me an opportunity to work alongside a professional vocal coach.
“It really is the best thing that has happened to me in such a long time and is helping me look towards the future.”
Local artist Cathy Cross from Make Space Create – who designed the family area at the Liverpool International Music Festival – is creating a Tree of Aspiration especially for the evening which people will be able to use to express their dreams and hopes.
Liverpool has over 150 more looked-after children than it had five years ago, and the number now stands at more than 1,000. The rise is due to a greater level of awareness of the issue of child neglect and abuse following the Baby Peter case in Haringey, and is reflected across the country
The city council has over 300 foster carers currently looking after children, and the city is aiming to recruit more to keep up with the demand for loving homes.