On 17th October 2017; the RNCM hosted the 5th Annual Greater Manchester Care Leaver Awards – which recognises the amazing achievements of young people who have experience of the care system in Greater Manchester, as well as their supporting parents, carers, families and social workers.  The awards are coordinated by The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, The University of Salford, The University of Bolton and The Care Leavers Association; and supported by Greater Manchester Higher.

About the care leaver awards: The awards ceremony seeks to recognise that many Care Leavers achieve success despite experiencing very difficult circumstances during their lives. Co-organiser Emma Lewis-Kalubowila, who works for the University of Manchester said, “we were overwhelmed this year to receive 218 nominations across 11 different categories – and the shortlisting panel were astounded by the hard work, dedication and resilience shown by young adults who have overcome significant obstacles to achieve success in different areas of their lives”.

Each year The Care Leavers Association sponsors the All Around Inspirational Young Person. An award that recognises not only the hard work and determination young people put into succeeding in all areas of life but also inspires others to do well and better in life. Carrie Wilson-Harrop, who is the Young Peoples Project Coordinator at the CLA said “Each year we ensure we are involved in the planning/shortlisting and of course sponsorship of this amazing event. It is truly inspirational the experiences those nominated for the awards go through, and is a constant reminder on why the work with Care Leavers is so important to continue. To be able to facilitate positive change and opportunities for these young people makes the work we do an absolute pleasure.”

There are 11 different categories where nominees were rewarded on the night:


Key Influencers




Further Education

Higher Education- UG

Higher Education- PG

World of Work


All Round Inspirational Person


All nominees receive a goodie bag and certificate to recognise their achievements, and winners receive generous prizes donated by supporting partners and charities which include all partner Universities, GMYN, Barnardo’s, UCAS, Catch22, Pure Insight and the Care Leavers Association.

Arron Pile, University of Salford said, “We were delighted to see so many young people nominated across all categories; and it was wonderful to read the words of proud Foster Carers, Residential Workers, Social Workers and Key Workers – all recognising the achievements of their young people”.

Sam Kalubowila, Head of Greater Manchester Higher said “This award ceremony is the culmination of a lot of hard work from staff across Greater Manchester’s 10 local authorities and leaving care teams; and dedicated staff in our partner Universities who are passionate about supporting and recognising the hard work of care levers. The evening is a wonderful opportunity to shout about the incredible successes of these young people; and are a celebratory evening, filled with performances and we’re really pleased this year to have a keynote speech from Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester who had the opportunity to see how fantastically care leavers in Greater Manchester have achieved”.

After the event, The Care Leavers Association Chair of Trustees Jim Goddard said “Attending the Greater Manchester Care Leaver Awards is always one of the best nights of my year. The awards challenge preconceptions that many people hold about care leavers and celebrate great achievements in many areas of life. It is wonderful that the CLA has been at the heart of these awards for the past five years, working with a range of Greater Manchester education providers, social services and other organisations. To see so many care leavers who have achieved so much is one of the most uplifting experiences one can have. The perfect end to any day.”