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Young people win national award for Quaranteens campaign

Published on Tuesday, November 3, 2020

A word cloud of messages from cards from care, featuring messages such as 'it will end soon', over the image of a rainbow.

YOUNG people from Leicester with experience of being in care have won a national award for supporting each other during the lockdown.

The Care Experienced Consultants – a group of young people who are in care or who have recently left care – have received national recognition for their Quaranteens campaign, which offered support during the lockdown via social media.

The campaign was voted Best Project 2020 by Catch 22, the National Leaving Care Benchmarking Forum - a network of more than 100 local authorities which promotes the development of quality services for young people who are leaving care.

Young people submitted an online presentation for the award, and were announced as winners last week.

The Quaranteens campaign was delivered in partnership with Leicester’s Young People’s Council, and saw young people creating short videos with tips and advice for how to keep busy at home and stay positive during the lockdown.

As well as videos, the Care Experienced Consultants also devised Cards from Care – postcards which young people could fill in and decorate before sending to friends or posting online. The cards included supportive messages and inspirational quotes to help young people feeling lonely or anxious as they had to isolate.

Contributions received on returned cards included one from a 12-year-old who said: “I live in foster care with my younger sister. We are adjusting to a new way of life and a new family all at once. It can feel like a lot, but we are really enjoying having time we wouldn’t usually have to get to know each other. Embrace change and make the most of a bad situation.”

The cards will be used to form a collage which will be displayed in Leicester to show children in care how they looked after each other during the coronavirus crisis.

Deputy city mayor responsible for social care, Cllr Sarah Russell, said: “I am so proud of the way Leicester young people supported each other during the coronavirus crisis, and I know that they continue to help each other.

“As well as the videos and cards that made up the Quaranteens campaign, young people held online cookalongs and get-togethers so that no-one need feel alone. And because it was driven by the young people themselves, there was a clear feeling of ‘we’re all in this together’. What a great way to respond to a hugely challenging situation.

“This award is thoroughly well deserved; congratulations to everyone involved.”

Nat O’Brien, co-production and engagement lead from the National Leaving Care Benchmarking Forum, said: “Our Best Project Award is now in its fifth year, and is part of our care leavers celebration event. In years gone by, care leavers and professionals have travelled across the country to meet with other members of the forum, but obviously that wasn’t possible this year. 

“Despite this, we had a record number of applications and Leicester was one of eight finalists selected with ‘Quaranteens’. It was fantastic to see a project that involved care leavers at its heart and to hear it being presented by some very passionate care leavers.  Everyone should be proud of the way the project was presented and the work that went into providing such important support to care leavers in Leicester.”

To view the videos and the Cards from Care, follow @LeicesterYPC and @LeicsCityCEC on Twitter.

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