The amazing achievements of children and young people in care, care leavers and children in kinship care, across West Sussex have been celebrated at the annual Exceptional People in Care (EPIC) awards.
‘Tropical party’ was the theme of this year’s awards, which saw the venue, Worthing Leisure Centre, decorated with palm trees, pineapples, garlands and sea creatures to create a summer beach vibe for all who attended.
The theme was chosen by the Children in Care Council and Care Leavers Advisory Board, who helped organise the awards and host the ceremony on Saturday 8 July.
More than 450 children and young people, carers, volunteers, and West Sussex County Council staff took part in the event, which featured an awards ceremony and a host of fun activities, including arts and crafts, a silent disco, drumming workshops and sensory room.
Awards and prizes were handed out for categories including Big Hearts, Big Thinker, and Big Strength winners, Children we care for Young Person of the Year 2023, Care Leaver of the Year 2023, and Best Foster Carer 2023.
Winners included a young person in care who has been doing everything possible at just 15 years old to pursue his aim to become a pilot. Working hard on his school grades, rising quickly through the ranks of the Air Cadets, learning about being a pilot and even taking part in a real aeroplane flight.
Another winner aged 16 is a talented wheelchair basketball player who is on course to representing Team GB.
Cllr Jacquie Russell, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “It was such a privilege to be invited to the Exceptional People in Care Awards, to spend time with the children we care for and our care leavers, and to celebrate their successes. I am so proud of all our children and young people and inspired by what they are achieving. The awards highlight the important work of our teams in children’s services, who are focused on putting children first in everything they do and supporting young people to fulfil their potential.”
The next EPIC awards will be in July 2024 and we’re looking for sponsors. If you’d like to support this amazing event through sponsorship, please email us at email@example.com