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Young people put on ‘The Greatest Show’ for celebration event

Article date - 18 July 2019

Young people took the powerful message of rewriting the stars as the centrepiece of an extravaganza celebrating looked after children in St Helens.
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The celebration event at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Saturday recognised the amazing young people and those who support children we care for in the borough.

Children in our care devised and performed in a showcase of their outstanding talents, from rap, musical performances, poetry and dance with many taking inspiration from The Greatest Showman.

They were helped by MD Productions to create the show for families and carers at the event.

Saints men’s and women’s team players, Hollyoaks star Keith Rice who plays Finn O’Connor and the Mayor of St Helens were on hand to present the awards given to amazing young people who had overcome difficulties in their own lives to make a difference to others and teachers, carers and professionals who went above and beyond to help looked after children achieve so much.

Councillor Joe Pearson, Cabinet Member for Protecting Young People, said: “It was an honour to award amazing young people who show such strength of character and make a difference to others. It is so easy to forget that children in our care have hopes and dreams like any child and it is our responsibility to give them the support to make those dreams into a reality.

“The event was all about celebrating how truly inspiring they are and they did not disappoint. It was also a great opportunity to celebrate with the wonderful carers we have in our communities who go above and beyond every day to support our most vulnerable young people.”

Sarah O’Brien, Strategic Director for People’s Services and Accountable Officer at St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group, added: “We asked our children we care for if they wanted an event to celebrate their friends, carers and officers’ achievements and they jumped at the opportunity. They were the ones who led the event and came up with a fantastic showcase of their wide-ranging talents and I couldn’t be prouder of what they have achieved.

“Thanks also go to our amazing staff whose tireless devotion to supporting children in our care and their carers makes a difference to so many lives. And without support from Invest St Helens and the businesses across St Helens this celebration would not have been possible.”

The event was funded by Invest St Helens and the Economy Board’s strategic aim is to promote St Helens as a place to live work and grow, through nurturing aspiration, ambition and pride. The board recognises that investment in the town means much more than economic growth, and that there is a need to incorporate social and community cohesion, particularly in relation to young people. With more than 100 local regional and national businesses to act as Ambassadors, its ambition is to use this platform to raise the aspiration and ambition of young people in St Helens, providing them with choices for the future and supporting them to reach their full potential.

Invest St Helens link schools and businesses together through the Ambassadors programme, bridging the gap to employment by creating opportunities for young people. Its ambition is to work with every school and college in St Helens, to achieve this schools are encouraged to enrol as Ambassadors. To find out more about the programme contact Cathryn White, programme manager on 01744 671738 or email cathrynwhite@sthelens.gov.uk.