Celebrating achievements of children in care

A total of 218 young people were nominated for this year's EPIC (Exceptional People in Care) Awards
A total of 218 young people were nominated for this year's EPIC (Exceptional People in Care) Awards
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Exceptional children in care were celebrated at the annual EPIC Awards.

Exceptional children in care were celebrated at the annual EPIC Awards.

A total of 218 young people were nominated and the event was organised with the help of the Children in Care Council and Care Leaver’s Forum, supported by West Sussex County Council.

Jack Salter, 12, from the Children in Care Council, said: “I absolutely loved it and thought it was amazing.

“I feel it was important for young people to get their award and have fun but more importantly to be recognised for their actions and achievements.

“My role in the EPIC Awards was to go on stage with the presenters. I felt very nervous. When I was up on stage, one thing that reassured me was seeing my foster mum, who gave me a thumbs up. At that point, I thought ‘what’s the worst that could happen’ and I just went with it.”

More than 400 people from across the county attended the event at Butlin’s Bognor Regis. It was brought to life with a Disney theme, as the young organisers wanted to make it a celebration, with exciting and entertaining elements alongside the formal recognition.

One of the nominees said: “This award nomination has made me feel good, that people believe in me, even though I don’t always believe in myself.”

Awards included Big Hearts for those making a positive contribution in the community, Big Talents for young people who have demonstrated talent and achievements, Big Thinkers for those who have really tried or succeeded in academic achievement such as improved attendance, Big Strength for children in care who have been brave or overcome a challenge, Inspirational Care Leaver, Inspirational Young Person in Care and the Chris Lindfield Award for volunteering in the community.

Stephen Hillier, county cabinet member for children and young people, said: “There was an awesome turnout of young people at this year’s event and it reminded me what an incredibly talented group of young people we have in West Sussex.

“I would like to express my thanks and admirations for all of the carers who also came to celebrate our inspirational children in care.

“The event was superbly organised by the Children in Care Council, who are a delight to work with and have done so well.”