THE ACHIEVEMENTS of dozens of children in care were celebrated at an awards ceremony at Leicester Museum & Art Gallery last night (Thursday).
Leicester City Council presented around 90 awards to children in its care, recognising the young people’s academic attainment, exemplary attendance at school, or success in the arts or in music.
Providing the keynote speech at the annual awards scheme was former Olympian Fatima Whitbread, who grew up in care before being adopted at the age of 14.
“I know how tough things can be, when you don’t have the best start in life, so I was thrilled to come to Leicester to congratulate all these brilliant young people,” she said.
“It’s so important to encourage looked-after children to keep going and to keep striving, and awards schemes like these show that their achievements are being recognised.
“It was a pleasure to meet these young people and I hope that my own story will have shown them that anything is possible.”
The annual awards scheme recognises achievement during the previous academic year.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Sarah Russell said: “Meeting Fatima Whitbread and hearing how she overcame so many challenges to become a world champion javelin thrower would have captured the imagination of many of the young people in our care.
“Fatima’s story is inspirational, and I’m delighted that she was able to join us for our annual awards scheme.
“We want to support all the children in our care to be the best possible versions of themselves and I hope that initiatives like our awards scheme will encourage our young people to follow their dreams and achieve their goals.”
In Leicester, there are currently around 360 children of statutory school age in care.
Picture caption: Fatima Whitbread (right) shows some of the medals she won as a javelin thrower to Cllr Sarah Russell and Cye-rus Braithwaite.