Hillingdon celebrates achievements of remarkable young people in care

Hillingdon Council's annual Kids in Care Awards (KICA) was held on Saturday 18 November at the Sofitel Hotel in Heathrow to celebrate the achievements of children in care and care leavers in Hillingdon.

The awards ceremony recognised young people who have overcome a difficult upbringing or challenging circumstances to make an outstanding achievement in their lives; whether achieving excellent exam results, making a contribution to the community, doing well in sport, or making personal progress improving their own development, self esteem or sense of wellbeing - writes hillingdon.gov.uk.

The event itself was designed, planned and hosted by young people, and was attended the the Mayor of Hillingdon and Hillingdon children and their carers. In total, there were 198 nominations for young people in care.

Mohammed, 22, came to the UK unaccompanied six years ago to seek asylum. Despite having no family in the UK, he worked extremely hard to achieve good grades and is now doing his BA (hons) degree in Mathematics at Kingston University.

Mohammed said: "When I first heard that I was nominated for a KICA award in education I couldn't be more happy and proud of myself. I came to the UK at the age of 16 from Somalia. There has been civil war there, and my parents wanted to get me out so I would be safe.

"When you first go into care it can be traumatic, and the most difficult thing for me was seeing other kids in college with their parents at the end of classes, which always reminded me of my mum. When you are in care you start living as an adult straight away, whereas most children will still have their parents to do things for them. I had couple of really good social workers and they were all so helpful in assisting me with advice. I'm now excited for my future."

Councillor David Simmonds, Cabinet Member for Education and Children's Services said: "This year's Kids in Care Awards has been so inspirational and shows that, with the right support, young people in Hillingdon can achieve anything they put their mind to. We are so proud of all the children who come into our care, and we will continue to ensure that all young people across the borough have the opportunities and guidance to reach their full potential."

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