Looked After Children get Princess Diana award

Published Tuesday, 2nd October 2018
Clr Gordon Watson and Chief Executive Sharon Kemp with members of Rotherham's Looked After Children's Council ahead of getting their Diana Award
Clr Gordon Watson and Chief Executive Sharon Kemp with members of Rotherham's Looked After Children's Council ahead of getting their Diana Award

Inspirational children who have lived in care in Rotherham have been given a prestigious Princess Diana Award for their courage and efforts.

The Looked After Children’s Council (LACC), run by Rotherham Council, was publically honoured for the work they have done to campaign for rights for children in care.

In particular the award was given to them for the work they did earlier this year to campaign to ensure bin liners were not used as suitcases when children moved between foster care placements.

The Diana Award charity was set up in memory of Princes William and Harry’s late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, and her belief that young people have the power to change the world. 

The charity fosters, develops and inspires positive change in the lives of young people through three key programmes which include; a mentoring programme for young people at risk, a youth-led anti-bullying ambassador’s campaign and a prestigious award which publicly recognises young people – The Diana Award.

The LACC were presented with the award at a star-studded ceremony in Leeds last Friday.

Member Kaylen, aged 13 said: “It was amazing to get this award, we feel really proud to have been given this for the work we have done as a group. I definitely want to keep on campaigning to make sure our voices as young people are heard, especially when it comes to anything which involves children in care.”

The group led a campaign to stop the practice of children’s personal belongings being transported in black bin liners between foster placements.

As a result the Council has adopted a new policy that prohibits the use of bin liners for moving personal belongings, and the campaign is now being picked up by other local authorities nationally.

Cllr Gordon Watson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services said: “Well done to the children and young people from the LACC for getting this award. They are truly inspirational people and this reward recognises the difference they have already made for other young people now and in the future. 

“I am so proud of them. It takes real courage to be able to do something like this, and even more so given the hardship these children have already known in their young lives.”

The LACC, who were given the award alongside other children from schools and institutions across the North East and Yorkshire region, has already shared its “Bin Liners are Not Suitcases” campaign at the Children in Care Councils’ regional meeting at Leeds University and nationally through the Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield.

Tessy Ojo, Chief Executive, The Diana Award, added Rotherham LAC Council were a committed and enthusiastic group of young people who work selflessly to transform services and improve the lives of looked after children. She said: “We know by receiving this honour they will inspire more young people to get involved in their communities and begin their own journey as active citizens, creating a positive ripple effect across communities in the UK and the world.  

“At The Diana Award we value and invest in young people encouraging them to continue to make positive change in their communities and lives of others.”