The Sycamore Trust was named as one of the award winners at last week’s Children & Young People Now Awards. The CYP Awards, are now in their 14th year and are firmly established as the ‘gold standard’ in services for children, young people and families across the UK, and we were nominated in two categories.
Sycamore’s ‘Speak With A Picture’ project was shortlisted in the Early Intervention category, for the initiative that has intervened early and most effectively with children at risk from problems such as poor health and dropping out of education, and their Parenting Pathways programme was nominated for the PSHE Education Award, for the Personal, Social, Health and Economic education initiative that has done the most to develop young people’s knowledge, skills and attributes in managing the challenges of modern life, such as sex and relationships.
The award ceremony was a held at the exclusive Hurlingham Club in Fulham, hosted by children’s TV presenter and “godfather of gunge” Dave Benson Phillip, while Alan Dedicoat, voice of Strictly Come Dancing, was on hand to announce the finalists.
Both Parenting Pathways and SWAP provide essential help for families in the boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge. SWAP benefits from funding by BBC Children in Need while Parenting Pathways is funded by the National Lottery.
In his opening address, Derren Hayes, editor of CYP Now, told the audience: “You don’t need me to tell you that the funding situation in children’s services is pretty dire – nine out of 10 children’s services budgets were overspent last year. The new government will need to invest to avoid further cuts. I’m not talking about a one-off pot of a few hundred million. It needs a long-term, sustainable, funding package that enables leaders to invest more in early help so that support can be provided before intensive intervention is needed.“
In total, there were 24 awards, represented by organisations all over the country. The London Boroughs of Redbridge and Havering were among the winners and other big names nominated were the Teenage Cancer Trust and the NSPCC.
The Early Intervention Award went to YMCA Bristol, who run a wonderful social enterprise providing nine bedrooms for homeless young people, offering support and breathing space while they find longer term solutions, but the winner of the PSHE Education Award was Sycamore Trust, a testimony to the great work done by Jean Rayner and Emma Marston over the course of the last year. The project support young adults with learning difficulties to be aware of sexual health issues as well as providing guidance, education and support to enable parents to improve their parenting skills. It was a thoroughly well-deserved victory and Jean & Emma were joined on stage by Jo Baty, new chair of trustees to collect the award.
Sycamore Trust UK CEO Chris Gillbanks said:
“We were pleased to be nominated but we are absolutely delighted to be named as the winner in a very competitive field. Our success is a great compliment to Jean and Emma and it’s wonderful that their vital work in Barking & Dagenham, Redbridge and Havering has been recognised.”