Some of the outstanding successes of care-experienced young people in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) region were recognised on Saturday 4 November.
Hosted by BCP Council at the Life Centre, Winton, these annual STAR awards brought together a number of remarkable young, care-experienced individuals and their friends and family, as well as Councillors and stakeholders.
Heartfelt speeches, touching stories and poignant moments were shared, acknowledging the incredible accomplishments of care-experienced young people and highlighting how the support transitioning from care has made a difference.
The event took place alongside National Care Leavers Week, a campaign helping to provide those who are care-experienced with a platform to share their stories and achievements, reflect on the challenges they have faced, suggest improvements to the care system and break down stereotypes.
Overall, more than 137 young people were nominated for nine awards, showcasing the immense potential and achievements of care-experienced young people who have benefited from guidance and support.
There were also nearly 40 nominations for the prestigious Shining Star award, recognising an outstanding achievement of a single care-experienced young person.
Councillor Richard Burton, Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People at BCP Council, said:
"We are immensely proud of the remarkable young people, and it is an honour to be allowed to hear their stories of success and be part of their celebrations.
“These awards demonstrate their courage and determination, and I continue to be so impressed with what they achieve.”
Cathi Hadley, Director of Children’s Services at BCP Council, added:
“It is always a pleasure to meet our care-experienced young people and spend some time celebrating their successes, and it was my honour to present the STAR awards once again this year.
“We work hard to make sure that we are affording the children and young people in our care the right support, and these awards go some way to showcasing their great potential when that is the case.”
Sara Scholey, Director of Corporate Parenting and Permanence, concluded:
“We take our role as corporate parents very seriously, and I am just as proud as any parent would be in recognising the achievements of our care-experienced young people.
“Whoever we are in the council, we have a collective responsibility for providing the best possible care and safeguarding for the children and young people who are looked after.
"Collectively, we can enable young people to continue to develop and thrive to ensure they can become the best version of themselves."
The awards also recognised community champions, educational successes, positive role models, sporting excellence and trailblazers for transformation and growth.
The event would not have been possible without the generous support of staff, volunteers and dedicated carers who work collaboratively on a day-by-day basis to uplift and empower care-experienced young people.
Following the success of the STAR awards, the council continues to work towards a future where every young person transitioning from care is embraced with understanding, support and opportunity for growth.
For more information, and to stay updated on future initiatives, please contact Liz Kite (Liz.Kite@bcpcouncil.gov.uk) and follow BCP Council's social media channels.
Learn about the National Care Leavers Week campaign: National Care Leavers' Week - Become (becomecharity.org.uk)
Learn more about the #EndTheCareCliff movement - Our campaign to #EndTheCareCliff - Become (becomecharity.org.uk)