Celebrating the achievements of children in care

Every child or young person in care has had different experiences in life. The Children in Care and Care Leavers Awards is an annual celebration recognising the personal achievements of children and young people who are in care or have been in care in Brighton & Hove. 

The event is designed to recognise how award winners have made a difference to their own or someone else’s life.  The theme for this year’s event was “Reach for the stars” to show that there is no limit to how high people can aim and their success can soar. 

The annual awards took place last week on Friday 22 November, hosted by British Airways i360.  

Cllr Allcock, Chair of the council’s Families, Children and Learning Committee, said: “The awards are inspiring for those of us attending. It’s also motivational for children and young people in our care. We hope this celebration will encourage more children and young people to strive for success. As their corporate parent, we are behind them every step of the way and we appreciate how much they are achieving.” 

Nominations for awards are made by a range of people who meet regularly with children and young people in care, such as social workers, teachers and other professionals. 

Throughout the evening a total of 49 awards were presented to children and young people from across the city aged 7 to 24 years.

The special recognition award was won by Monica Ndaya-Luganda. Monica, age 23, set up her own accountancy business after studying accounting at Brighton University. 

Monica moved to Brighton & Hove in 2013 when she was looked after by the council’s children in care team. The team supported Monica as she excelled at many educational and personal goals to become a young businesswoman.

Monica said: “I’m keen to use my experience to help others and I’m developing an advisory element of my business to share my skills.

"It’s amazing to be given this award. I can be so busy doing what I’m doing that I didn’t notice people were watching me and admiring my work.

"Thank you for the award today and thank you to all those who support young people across the city to be the best they can be.”

Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club’s mascot Gully also came along to support the event. 

(In the photo: Gully from the Albion, Cllr Dee Simson representing the Mayor, Monica Ndaya-Luganda special recognition award winner 2019 and Deb Austen acting Executive Director of Families, Children and Learning) 
Photo credit: Philip Bedford