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Romford's support hub for children in care nominated for national award

PUBLISHED: 17:00 30 August 2018

Mayor of Havering Councillor Dilip Patel, who was then deputy mayor, unveiled the new dedicated support hub for children in care in October last year. The hub, known as The Cocoon, has been nominated for a national award. Picture: Havering Council

Mayor of Havering Councillor Dilip Patel, who was then deputy mayor, unveiled the new dedicated support hub for children in care in October last year. The hub, known as The Cocoon, has been nominated for a national award. Picture: Havering Council

Havering Council

A new innovative centre for children who leave care has been nominated for a national award.

The Cocoon, based in High Street, Romford, which opened last October, has been shortlisted in the Leaving Care category of the 13th annual Children and Young People Now awards.

The awards offers an opportunity to raise the profile of projects and initiatives to funders and the general public.

The nomination comes just weeks after education watchdog Ofsted described The Cocoon as “highly impressive” during its inspection of children’s services, which was rated overall as “good”.

The dedicated hub, which is an example of Havering working in partnership with young people, provides a safe drop-in space for children and young people living in care or leaving care.

It provides a venue where they can meet with key workers and get support for their personal development.

Young people have been able to use the centre to develop life skills such as learning to cook, access training, receive additional education support and get help with housing and health.

Its aim is to help steer children and young people towards independent living.

Cabinet member for children and education, Councillor Robert Benham said: “This is fantastic news.

“The Cocoon is a unique concept which was developed with children in care and care leavers to ensure it was what they wanted and that it would suit their needs.

“They were able to help with the design and layout of the space, right down to its naming and branding.

“We are thrilled that it is being acknowledged in this way and is a serious contender for an award in the Children and Young People Now awards.

“The nomination comes on the back of the council’s “good” rating by Ofsted and is a huge boost to the borough and our efforts to ensure we involve young people who have been in care, and young people generally, when we plan services for them.”

The award winners for the Children and Young People Now awards will be announced later this year on November 21.

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