Greater Manchester Care Leaver Awards

Greater Manchester Care Leaver Awards celebrates the achievements of local young people

On Wednesday 23 October, the seventh Greater Manchester Care Leaver Awards took place at the Royal Northern College of Music; the event was a celebration of the amazing achievements of local young people from across Greater Manchester.

Keynote speaker Saeed Atcha, opened the evening sharing his own experience and motivational words: “Every one of you is destined for excellence”. Saeed, from Bolton, became the youngest recipient of an MBE in Her Majesty the Queen’s 2019 New Year’s Honours List for services to young people and the community in Greater Manchester.

The awards were a fantastic collaborative event; as higher education institutions, further education colleges, and local authorities, foster carers, social workers and young people came together to celebrate the success of care-experienced young people.

The audience were also lucky enough to witness poems, written and delivered, by care-experienced ambassadors from the Greater Manchester Youth Network (GMYN) project, and a rap written and performed by a member of Gorse Hill Creative Studios. These were truly inspirational moments, and it was an honour that these young people shared their personal stories through the spoken word.

A final-year University of Manchester student, who is care-experienced was nominated for an award by her local authority. She attended the ceremony and said: “It was such a lovely evening, it was so nice to see so many people that have experienced struggles being recognised and it felt good knowing they felt encouraged and so positive! I also met with someone from the Virtual head team that I hadn’t seen since I was 16 and it was so lovely! The speech by Saeed Atcha who was a care leaver and has an MBE was very inspiring.”

The number of nominations, and audience size was the biggest yet, with 325 nominations received!

Sam Kalubowila, The Head of Greater Manchester Higher, who compered the event said: “This event is one of the highlights of my calendar – it’s wonderful to see all the Greater Manchester universities and Local Authorities working together to celebrate the success of care-experienced young people from across our region. It’s an incredible privilege to present the awards – sending a massive thank you to those who nominated young people, as well as huge congratulations to each individual who was nominated for an award – it was inspiring to hear of their achievements. Finally, a thanks to all those involved in organising the event, who worked so hard to bring it all together. I’m already looking forward to next year.”

Well done and congratulations to all the worthy nominees and winners.

Greater Manchester Care Leaver Awards

The sixth annual Greater Manchester Care Leaver Awards took place on 18 October, at the Royal Northern College of Music. The Awards are delivered by the Greater Manchester Higher partnership, of which the University is a member. The event, which recognises the achievements of young people from across Greater Manchester, saw well-deserving nominees and winners take to the stage to collect their awards, including The Higher Education award, the World of Work award, Positive Action award and an All-round inspirational person award, amongst many others. This year the awards received 271 nominations and saw over 400 people attend on the night. Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, gave the keynote speech.

The evening provided a wonderful opportunity to bring people together, to celebrate amazing achievements and to share inspirational stories; as the Chancellor of the University of Salford, and the National Poet of Scotland, Jackie Kay summed up the event perfectly: “So very proud of every one tonight – everyone’s a winner and that’s the truth!”.

You can find out more about the awards by visiting the Greater Manchester Higher website.