More than 100 of Westminster’s looked after children, care leavers and foster carers have come together to celebrate their successes in this year’s Looked After Children awards..
Held at Tate Britain on Tuesday (October 24th), the Lord Mayor of Westminster was on hand to present a range of awards marking achievement in fields ranging from academia and music to poetry and public speaking.
Care Leavers presented their individual experiences of overcoming adversity. Recent graduate Nabila Mirza - now studying to become a lawyer - encouraged the audience to “believe in your dreams, no matter what you are faced with."
Ashlegh Marchant, who is now at university studying sociology and criminology, said: “Every time I put my key in my front door, I appreciate every step of the journey I’ve been on – it wasn’t easy, but if it had been, I wouldn’t be the person standing here now.”
The awards ceremony, an annual event, featured dedicated performances of music and poetry from a range of young people. Care leavers were honoured for achievements including:
The care leavers are supported by Westminster City Council’s Virtual School, a dedicated education service set up to ensure the council fulfills its corporate parenting responsibility to looked after children and care leavers.
Councillor Richard Holloway, Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Young People, told the audience of young achievers: “Westminster City Council is determined to support you in whatever you want to do, however you want to shape your lives. We will match your ambition for yourselves; wherever you want to go we will strive to help you get there.”