Local Teenager Wins National Award

Emily Allen, 19, has won an ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’ at this year’s national Fostering Excellence Awards, hosted by The Fostering Network.

The award celebrates the achievements of a young person who has succeeded against the odds on their journey through foster care.

Relationships

Emily was nominated by Geoff Fawcett, a Gloucestershire County Council fostering social worker, who said, “Emily has coped with coming from a very troubled home environment, one that led her to not trust any relationships and to try and test everyone around her.

“Along with coping with this, she continued to attend and do well at college and started university in September.

“She left foster care in July 2019 but stays in frequent contact with her long-term foster carer Linda. During the Coronavirus restrictions Emily has been shopping for Linda, whose health made it difficult for her to go out.”

Emily has been an ambassador for vulnerable children and young people at the county council for three years and helps to make sure that the voice of children in care is heard when the council is planning and delivering services.

Lyn Green, participation officer for vulnerable children and young people at Gloucestershire County Council, said, “Emily is an asset to the team, a great colleague and an amazing young person and it is a privilege to work with her.

Massive impact

“She has had a massive impact on the professionals that she works with, sharing her experiences and delivering training to workers and foster carers. She is also a mentor for Chris Spencer, Director of Children’s Services, and meets with him regularly in her role as an ambassador to give a young person’s perspective.”

Emily said, “I am really proud of how far I have come. When I look at how different things were, I didn’t think I would be anywhere close to where I am now. It’s really hard and there are so many barriers that prevent other young people like me doing well. That’s why I try and get involved in changing the way things are.”

Degree

Emily was awarded three As at A level in Psychology, Sociology, Health and Social Care and has started studying for a degree in social work at the University of Gloucestershire.

Cllr Richard Boyles, cabinet member for children’s safeguarding and early years at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “What a fantastic achievement. Emily is a brilliant ambassador for young people and I’m really pleased to see her receive this well deserved recognition. Well done Emily.”

Find out more about fostering by visiting www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/fostering