Children in care from across Sefton recently took to the red carpet as they shone at an award ceremony to celebrate their achievements.
Held at the Floral Hall in Southport’s Theatre and Convention Centre, the Sefton No Limits Challenge Awards are now in their 14th year. This year’s ceremony was bigger than ever, with more than 200 children and young people nominated for 25 prizes by foster carers, social workers and teachers.
The awards acknowledge a young person’s achievement in a learning environment, whether in school, further education or an alternative setting through diversity, effort, attitude, progress and challenge.
Awards are not based solely on academic progress as they can be won by showing improvement in attendance, personal development, skills and knowledge.
The ceremony also saw the premiere of the No Limits film, created by young people involved with the ‘Our Place’ Care Leavers Centre in Waterloo. The poignant video showed the great feats that can be achieved by looked after children.
No Limits was opened by local care leaver Joanne Lee, who was followed by the Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Stephen Kermode, who handed medals, certificates and prizes to children and young people.
While everyone deserved their nomination, there could only be one winner, with first prize handed to Sajeevan Thamilselvan by the Mayor and Margaret Carney, Sefton Council’s Chief Executive.
Sajeevan was praised for being a role model for other students and an inspiration to his foster family, with a gift for languages. He was closely followed by joint runners up Maelisa Bibby and Andrew Hind, who were recognised as great examples for other children by “going the extra mile” inside and outside school.
Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said: “No Limits is in its 14th year, which is remarkable and makes Sefton something of a pioneer.
“It shows a long standing commitment by the local authority and our partners to celebrate the effort, endeavour and maturity shown by children and young people in care as they reach their goals. Rightly, their achievements are a source of great pride to me and should be for all Sefton residents.”
Nicky Walsh, Head at Sefton’s Virtual School for looked after children and project lead for No Limits, added: “As head of the virtual school, I have been involved with No Limits for a long time and know all of the children nominated, yet it never ceases to amaze me just how much they push themselves in the face of the obstacles in their lives; they really are a credit to themselves and to Sefton.
“No Limits is a huge event and simply wouldn’t be possible without the hard work and passion of everyone involved – No Limits is a huge credit to them too.”
The No Limits event is run by Sefton Council with support from Southport Soroptomists International; Crosby Soroptimists International; Sefton Council for Voluntary Services (CVS); Merseyside Community Rehabilitation Company; Homescope; Parenting 2000 and One Vision Housing.
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