Double win for Havering's children's services at prestigious awards
PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 December 2019
A "highly impressive" initiative to support young people leaving care and a project that looks after disadvantaged young children has earned Havering Council two prestigious awards.
The Cocoon, described as "highly impressive" by Ofsted, won the Leaving Care Award for the initiative which has done the most to help young people leaving care make a smooth transition to adulthood at the Children and Young People Now (CYPN) awards.
Children's TV presenter Dave Benson Phillips hosted the event while Alan Dedicoat, voice of Strictly Come Dancing, was on hand to announce the finalists at the ceremony at the Hurlingham Club in Fulham on Thursday, November 28.
Havering Council's early help volunteering service was also awarded the Public Sector Children's Team Award for doing the most to improve the life chances of babies and young children.
In particular, the service supports youngsters in disadvantaged and hard-to-reach communities.
Robert South, Havering's director of children's services, said: "This is a major boost for our staff and services and a real testament to their continuous hard work, commitment and professionalism.
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"These annual awards are one of the sector's highest accolades and celebrate innovation, as well as demonstrate how we are positively impacting the lives of local children and young people.
"Congratulations to our staff on their fantastic success."
Entertainment during the ceremony was provided by a young band, the Sick Year Sixes from Hawthorns Primary School in Wokingham.
The Cocoon was set up two years ago in partnership with young people in care and those preparing to leave care, to give support and advice on issues such as health, employment, education and housing.
Last year Ofsted's chief inspector Amanda Spielman visited young people and staff following positive feedback from her inspectors.
The early help volunteering service has been recognised for the time and hard work its volunteers contribute to the borough.
Since being set up in 2016, the service has 100 volunteers in roles such as young people's mentor, independent visitor, children's centre support, parent group leaders and family coaches.
It has helped young people to achieve their goals, while supporting families to become more independent.