On Wednesday 8th November, YPBMF held its annual Care Leaver Celebration Event in Birmingham and online. Below, Aggie Collet, Catch22’s Policy and Communications Manager, summarises the special day; with some quotes and highlights from the people she met at the event.
A Royal Visit
We had an extra special guest this year, with an appearance from none other than Her Royal Highness Princess Anne in the afternoon. Princess Anne walked around the event, meeting lots of the guests including our YPBMF Champions and Sessional Team, and hearing about the work of the YPBMF. She then sat down to hear Roisa give a powerful spoken word performance titled, “The Reality of Being A Care Leaver”, and listen to Joshua Williams from NYAS talk about his journey and successes as a care experienced person. Princess Anne then gave out the new ‘Local Hero’ award and delivered her own speech.
Nathan Parker, a YPBMF Champion and Independent Trainer for the Rees Foundation, described the visit as “mind-blowing”.
Organising the Event
Every year the YPBMF come together to celebrate its members and their achievements over the past year. This year’s event was organised and hosted by a team of care experienced Champions and sessional workers and was the culmination of 4 months of committed planning and preparation.
The theme was “Supporting Care Experienced Individuals with Specific Needs”. The aim of the day was to inspire, hear experiences, learn about new ways to support care experienced young people and have fun! Or as Kim, a YPMBF Champion, put it, an opportunity to “see everyone come together as one group”.
On the day
The day was hosted in person in Birmingham and online too, so that care-experienced young people and professionals from services could join the event from across the country. The day was peppered with activities, special guests and speakers and organised so that guests would engage with similar activities whether they were at the event or online.
In the room in Birmingham, there was dedicated time for guests to walk around the room from corner to corner engaging with fun activities. Highlights included:
- The ‘Little Book of Big Ideas’ booklets for guests to collect ideas, contacts and inspiring quotes throughout the day
- A charity zone with stalls from Barnardo’s, Become, NYAS, and Rees Foundation sharing their resources and offers to care experienced young people.
- The Poster Corner where young people from across the country shared their ideas about how Local Authorities can improve their local offer to care experienced young people.
- The creative zone, where guests could design a mug or design a Positivity Patch to add to a tapestry of patches. Many of the young people wrote inspirational quotes on the patches.
- A photo booth, where guests could dress up and take some fun snaps.
Throughout the day, awards were announced to celebrate the various achievements over the past year of the YPBMF members, including ‘Best Performance’, ‘Best Public Speaker’ and ‘Champion of the Year’. A huge congratulations to all the nominees and winners of this year’s awards!
Happy Birthday NLCBF!
Not only were the YPBMF ‘Celebrating Us’, they were also celebrating 20 years of the NLCBF’s work. After HRH Princess Anne’s departure, cakes were shared around the room, and a video celebrating the achievements of the forum was played.
Thanks to all of the organisers for such a brilliant day. It is hard to sum it all up, but fortunately, Victoria Odude, the YPBMF Steering Group Representative managed to do just that:
“Today has been a celebration of our care leavers, but not only that, also 20 years of the forum. Celebrating both the achievements of the care leavers and the forum, and their contribution to the forum, has been special. Also, today has been a chance to see all of the alumni champions again. Also was great to meet Princess Anne, that was an achievement for both me and the care leavers too!”
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