Volunteers and staff who give children a great start in life were honoured at Doncaster Children’s Trust’s first Star Awards, held at Doncaster College.
The Trust was the first children’s social care organisation in the country to be run independently from a local authority, delivering services under an agreement with the Government and Doncaster Council. Its remit is to pioneer new, dynamic ways to provide outstanding care to local children and families.
Award winners included the staff of a Doncaster children’s home which has been judged Ofsted ‘outstanding’, along with a couple who have fostered more than 60 children and continue to support them as adults.
Chair of the Trust’s Board Colin Hilton said: “The high calibre of the nominations is a testament to the dedication of social workers, staff, volunteers and foster carers who are determined to transform children services in Doncaster.”
The award for excellence in working with children and families was presented to the team at Morrison Drive Children’s Home in Rossington. Staff were congratulated on the way they have helped young people move on from difficult times to set high ambitions for their future. Teenagers who have lived there are now working towards university entrance or have moved into apprenticeships, and the home recently achieved Ofsted’s highest rating.
Sarah Goad, a Residential Care Officer, at the home, said: “We’ve been working really hard to help young people achieve their potential. To have our success recognised by colleagues makes us all feel really proud.”
Foster carers Ian and Eileen Lindley were worthy winners of the Volunteer and Carer Award for their 23 years of service. The couple, who are both in their 70s, continue to take in children with high needs, sometimes at very short notice. They also keep in touch with previous foster children, supporting the next generation by babysitting and even buying a pram for each new ‘grandchild’.
Eileen said: “There are a lot of great foster carers in Doncaster so we feel very humbled to have won the award. We believe every child can shine given the right support.”
Other categories included social worker and trainee social worker of the year, along with awards for innovation and inspiring team management. More than 100 nominees and guests attended the presentation, which included lunch laid on by catering students at the college.