Children in care help authorities improve
A group of young people in care, some aged as
young as 9, who give up their free time to advise the authorities
on how they can better look after vulnerable young people have been
shortlisted for police awards.
The group each volunteer up to 20 hours per week
to advise local councils, NHS, police, charities and universities
on how they can do more to support children in care.
The youngsters, who are aged 9 - 21, all belong
to the Coventry Voices of Care Council.
Many of them have had difficult starts to life,
but they have all shown remarkable courage, dedication and
commitment since joining the scheme.
The team help run lectures, act as consultants
and provide an insight to professionals working in the care sector
who need to gain a better understanding of the subject.
They are a vital link between people in care and
those working in the sector.
Their achievements include helping local
councils plan residential homes for children in care. As part of
the project they scrutinised the building's location, how it would
be run and the furniture to go in it.
The volunteers also advise social workers on how
to talk to vulnerable people in care.
Shianne Kinchen and Charlie Cooke are two of the volunteers.
Shianne said: "Voices of Care helps young people to understand
their rights and gain a sense of belonging. I believe the
work we do is vital in making sure that services for young people
are fit for purpose."
Whilst Charlie added: "Being shortlisted for such an important
award is brilliant. We hope more people will find out about the
work we do and this will help reduce the stigma of being a kid in
Meanwhile, the West Midlands Police and Crime
Commissioner, David Jamieson, said: "The work carried out by these
young people in care is hugely valuable and truly
"Many of them are still young children and have
had a tough start to life, but despite all they have been through
they still give up so much of their time to help others. They are
an inspiration to us all.
"I would like to say a huge thank you. Many
lives would be so much worse off if these individuals stopped doing
what they do".
The Outstanding Citizens Awards will be held on