Derbyshire’s children’s rights team scoops top award

DERBYSHIRE County Council’s children’s rights team is celebrating after scooping top honours in national awards.

The team - Steve Lowe, Rosie Key and Ross Bough - have been named Children and Young People’s Service Team of the Year.

They beat competition from across the country to take the title in the sixth annual Children and Young People Now awards.

The awards aim to highlight some of the best work with children, young people and families and attracted 420 entries.

Councillor Barry Lewis, the county council’s Cabinet Member for Young People, said: “I’m delighted that the work of our team to give children in care and with disabilities a voice has been recognised.

“They work with 20 advocates and 21 volunteers to make sure that the views of children and young people are at the heart of decisions made about them.

“Their success is also made possible by the partnerships they have forged with other organisations across Derbyshire to enable young people to express themselves.”

The team works with more than 800 children each year while the advocacy service supports more than 200 children. Over 90% of children report that their advocate made a positive difference to their lives.

The team also helps to organise events including the Big Book Bash – which has attracted top authors like Jacqueline Wilson - and has trained 12 disabled young people and 15 children in care to deliver training to 350 county council staff.

Councillor Lewis added: “All too often, children in care or with disabilities can feel marginalised.

“Our children’s rights team works hard to challenge stereotypes and engage young people so they feel empowered to speak up for themselves.”

The team will be presented with their award at a ceremony in London on November 17.