On Friday 14 December, Together for Children hosted a Christmas celebration for more than 200 children and young people looked after or leaving care.
The festive event took place at Sunderland’s Bede Tower where a whole host of seasonal surprises greeted children aged from 0 to 25 including a photo booth, candy cart, glitter bomb, bouncy castle, soft play, arts and crafts.
The youngsters were also treated with entertainment from an ice queen and fairy princess and of course a visit to Santa’s Grotto.
For the past few months carers and social care professionals have had the opportunity to nominate children and young people looked after or leaving care for the 2018 Celebration Awards.
The awards recognise a range of achievements and attributes including community contribution, education, sporting achievement and bravery.
The Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Lynda Scanlan, said: “This event is a real highlight of the year and it was a pleasure to present awards to 30 inspirational young people that are overcoming various challenges. I also commend carers for their commitment and dedication to the children they look after.
“Special thanks also go to staff volunteers who supported the event and to Hopespring, a charity working throughout Tyne and Wear to help a wide range of people, which once again donated gifts for each of the looked after children.”
Jill Colbert, Chief Executive of Together for Children, added: “There are around 600 children living in care across the Sunderland local authority area.
“These children are living in a range of accommodation including foster care. Our participation team work hard all year to ensure children’s services reflect the voice of the child and support Change Council who devised many of this event’s activities. I congratulate that team and thank all of the volunteers that made the event a success. I of course also extend heart-felt thanks to our carers.”
To find out more about Together for Children please visit www.togetherforchildren.org.uk.