The unique achievements and talents of young people in care were showcased and celebrated at this year’s EPIC (Exceptional People in Care) Awards.
A highest-ever total of 283 nominees was recognised at the ceremony on Sunday, December 9, toasting the inspirational, big-hearted and creative children in care and care leavers across West Sussex.
Organised by the Children in Care Council with support of West Sussex County Council, this year’s EPIC awards were Harry Potter-themed and the biggest to date. Many of the 625 children, families, carers and staff volunteers attending came as wizards to add to a spellbinding day.
CBeebies presenter Sid Sloane opened proceedings at Bognor Regis Butlin’s and Children in Care Council members then helped present the awards.
Paul Marshall, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, helped hand out one of the awards. He said: “This was my first EPIC awards as cabinet member and it lived up to its name – it was truly epic!
“The room was buzzing with incredible young people and it was a fantastic celebration of their talents, strength and achievements, shared by families and the amazing people who care for them.
“The Children in Care Council planned and delivered a magical event and should be proud that they showcased the unique young talent we have in West Sussex.”
All of the young nominees picked up a trophy, a goody bag provided through funding from the sponsors and an advent calendar donated by West Sussex County Council staff.
Hayley Connor, head of Integrated Prevention and Earliest Help at West Sussex County Council, helped host the awards. She said: “The resilience, creativity and joy in the room celebrating each child, young person and adult who provides care and support was completely overwhelming and inspirational.”