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Helping Hands Awards

22 June 10

Today (Tuesday 29 June) The University of Bradford is hosting the fifth annual Helping Hands Awards organised jointly by Education Bradford and Bradford Council's Department for Services to Children and Young People.

The Helping Hands Awards recognises exceptional contributions made by schools, organisations and individuals, to the education and development of children and young people in public care.

Social workers, foster carers and the young people themselves were invited to nominate people or organisations to whom they are especially grateful for work done and encouragement given. This year, 14 organisations and 24 individuals will receive an award at the event, which is taking place in the Norcroft Centre, the University's new conference centre.

The choice of venue is the result of closer co-operation between the University, Education Bradford and the Council in the development of education opportunities for young people in care, with particular regard to Higher Education and Lifelong Learning.

Visits to the University, Summer Schools and the linking of young people in care with undergraduate mentors, are gaining in popularity, and increasing numbers of looked-after young people are aspiring to progress to University. Currently 19 Bradford young people from the care system are studying at various universities across the country.

Ewen Godfrey, Education Bradford's Virtual School Head, monitors the education of all of Bradford's children and young people in public care. He said: "For a long time, boys and girls in care never aspired to go to university, because they believed it was out of their reach. Now that myth has been exploded, and I look forward to a growing trend of young people achieving their full educational potential. They are beginning to realise that the sky's the limit!

"The Helping Hands Awards, which start at 5pm, will be presented by the university's Head of Access and Widening Participation, Dave Norman MBE. He said: "The university was one of the first to receive the Frank Buttle Trust Quality Mark which demonstrates its commitment supporting both Looked after Children and Care Leavers. I am really looking forward to hearing the stories of how caring adults have made a big difference to the educational progress of looked-after children, and to meeting those people.

"The Deputy Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Mohammed Jamil and the Deputy Lady Mayoress will attend the ceremony. Other senior members of Bradford Council will include Cllr Ralph Berry, the Portfolio Holder for Services to Young People and Education, and Cllr Mohammed Shafiq, Chair of the Corporate Parenting Panel, together with members of the panel. Kath Tunstall, the Council's Strategic Director for Services to Children and Young People and Denise Faulconbridge, Managing Director of Education Bradford, will both be involved in the proceedings.

22 June 10

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Further information for Media Enquirers

For further information please contact the University of Bradford Press Office on 01274 23 3089/3084.

Out of office hours call 07879 437996. Alternatively, e-mail or fax on (01274) 236280.