Thursday 23rd November 2023

Winners 2023

Please scroll down to see the full list of the winners.

The Early Years Award

Winner: Auditory Verbal UK, Creating a Sound Future for Deaf Children

Auditory Verbal UK supports deaf babies to learn to listen and speak through a specialist early intervention programme called Auditory Verbal therapy. Some 80 per cent of children who attended the programme achieved age-appropriate language, jumping to 97 per cent among children without additional needs. Judge James Hempsall said this was an “established programme with bold ambitions”.


City of York Council, Early Talk for York
Dingley's Promise, Early Years Inclusion Movement

The Play Award

Winner: OPAL C.I.C , The OPAL Primary Programme

This cultural change programme provides the knowledge, policies, planning, training, and advice needed for any school to revolutionise how it provides play for every child through the delivery of 180 resources and 18 months of mentoring support. An independent evaluation on a sample of 70 schools showed a 58 per cent increase in the capacity of leadership to provide good play.


Challengers, Every Child Has The Right To Play

The Safeguarding Award

Winner: The Trust for Developing Communities, Youth Work at The Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital

The youth work project in the children’s emergency department of the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Brighton is working to safeguard children who present with social risk factors, when doctors and nurses can be too busy responding to physical and medical needs. In the last year, 288 young people were supported, of which four-fifths engaged well with the support offered.


Bradford Children and Families Trust, Breaking the Cycle Project
Haringey Council, Social Workers in Schools Project
Medway Council, Medway Youth Service
No Limits, No Limits – Safeguarding
Sutton Local Safeguarding Children’s Partnership, Child Safeguarding Toolkit
YMCA WiSE, Sussex Police and Barnardo's - Project SOLAH (Safer Online at Home)

The Learning Award

Winner: City of York Council for Early Talk for York

Early Talk for York has brought together the council, health care commissioners, schools, academies and early years settings to focus on improving children’s speech, language and communication outcomes. Over four years, the programme has supported around 4,000 children and the school readiness gap has fallen to 2.5%, which judge Carey Oppenheim describes as “very impressive results”.

Highly Commended

TAG Youth Club for Disabled Young People


Family Action, Lincolnshire BOSS
Live Music Now, Inspire Training Initiative
Strength and Learning Through Horses, Therapeutic Education Group

The Youth Work Award

Winner: North East Young Dads and Lads Project C.I.O, DigiDAD

Sponsored by:

DigiDAD is an e-learning platform that enables young dads to research and develop credible, authentic, engaging and informative learning content to address community identified needs. It has enabled 43 young men to gain new skills and expertise in film-making, pod-casting and digital youth work whilst creating freely accessible resources that are used by peers, their families and the professionals who support them in the North East region.

Highly Commended 

TAG Youth Club for Disabled Young People


Conscious Youth C.I.C
Local Village Network, Amplify Me
Positive Youth Foundation, Winter Youth Club
The Proud Trust

The Arts and Culture Award

Winner: Blackpool Grand Theatre for The Illuminate Project

The Illuminate Project is a theatre-arts based holiday programme for Blackpool’s children in care. It offers a safe, creative space to tell, make and share stories in a bid to build resilience, confidence and creative skills. Last year, 90 per cent of the children who took part in the programme were able to talk about resilience and give examples of what might help.

Highly commended

Care to Dance


Blue Cabin, The Studio of the Fostered Heroes
Leeds Museums and Galleries,
The Leeds Curriculum and Primary School Membership
Noise Solution
Royal Borough of Greenwich Children's Services' Creative Arts Project

The Young Carers Award

Winner: Carers in Hertfordshire for Young Carers

The project supports children and young people under the age of 18 who care for someone with links to Hertfordshire. Its young carer team works with local organisations and schools to raise awareness of young carers including how to support them and what to look out for when things are getting tough. Young judge Ivar Morganti described the programme as an “impressive and impactful initiative”.

Highly Commended

Create, inspired:arts


Action for Children,
Centre 404,
Young Carers Club
TAG Youth Club for Disabled Young People

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Award

Winner: City & Hackney CAMHS Alliance and Hackney CVS, Tree of Life in Schools Programme

The Programme focuses on the needs of African and Caribbean Heritage students. It delivers a peer-led approach across schools in Hackney for students aged 11 to 18 who are trained by peer leaders, aged 18 to 25. It has so far reached more than 350 pupils, with outcomes surveys showing a 29 per cent increase in young people “feeling pride about their background”.


Essex County Council Youth Service, Youth Work in Hospital Project
GamCare, Young People's Gambling Harm Prevention Programme
Intergenerational Music Making, I.M.M - Stop! Collaborate and Listen!
Kent County Council Public Health, Working with Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children and Young People in Kent
Tellmi, Addressing Mental Health Inequalities in Greenwich

The Early Intervention Award

Winner: Ormiston Families, Breaking Barriers

Sponsored by:

Around 312,000 children are affected annually by parental imprisonment in England and Wales, meaning they are at increased risk of feeling a sense of loss and experiencing stigma, social isolation and embarrassment. Breaking Barriers helps children understand about prison, manage complicated emotions, and find healthy ways of coping through a goal-based programme to measure their outcomes. Judge Annamarie Hassall praised the “fantastic service” that supports “invisible children”.


RISE Service
Blackpool Better Start,
Early Years Oral Health Improvement Strategy
Career Connect,
Sefton Neet Reduction and Early Intervention Service
Chance UK,
Rapid Response to Increased and Changing Needs of Vulnerable Children and Families
Face It Programme
Salford City Council,
Salford Strengthening Families

The Youth Volunteering and Social Action Award

Winner: United By 2022 Legacy Charity, Gen22 - Ideas Made Real

With its origins in the Gen22 legacy programme from the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, this programme enabled young people aged 16 to 24 to bid for funding to build their own social action project in communities across the West Midlands. A total of £220,000 was distributed across 22 projects and evaluation found that 99 per cent of participants felt they had learnt new skills.


N.C.S, Brighton Period Project
Newham Council, Youth Citizen Assemblies
Rise 365, The Kingsmead Community Food Shop
Sound Communities C.I.C, Ocean Youth Radio

The Children in Care Award

Winner: Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Room Makers Scheme

The Room Makers Scheme provides funding and support for foster carers who want to renovate existing spare rooms and foster more children across 10 local authorities in the region. Overall, 26 new bedrooms have been renovated and made available to support children and young people in need of foster placements across Greater Manchester with an average cost of just £3,500.


Coram Voice,
Bright Spots Programme
Essex County Council,
Involvement service
Stoke-on-Trent City Council,
Virtual School
The Children's Society,
Inside Out

The PSHE Education Award

Winner: Lucy Faithfull Foundation for Everyone's Safer

The Everyone’s Safer project is designed to support schools to respond effectively when incidents of harmful sexual behaviour among peers occur, and to produce evidence and insights to influence policymakers. Researchers worked with 10 Midlands schools, which led to the identification of positive practice to be embedded in the wider programme, ranging from better safety planning for students to improved school culture.


Bridgeway School (Witherslack Group), Bridgeway School P.S.H.E
Young People's Gambling Harm Prevention Programme

The Family Support Award

Winner: Salford City Council, Salford Strengthening Families

This innovative programme supports parents who have been separated from their children, through a long-term package of support. Strengthening Families is keeping children and families together - it tracked 40 families two, three and four years after they graduated from the programme and found that four-fifths have never had further social care involvement. Of 13 babies born in 2022 whose families were involved in the programme, 12 remain with their parents.


Blackpool Better Start, Cost of Living Response
Nyas Cymru, Parent Advocacy
Ormiston Families, Stronger Together
Strength and Learning Through Horses, Parent & Child Programme

The Leaving Care Award

Winner: Settle for Settle Programme

Settle aims to break the cycle of youth homelessness among care leavers by providing young people with intensive one-to-one support by trained coaches. In 2022/23, Settle supported 131 new young people through 1,413 hours of support. Meanwhile, 97 per cent of graduates have sustained their tenancy after 12 months. Settle is described as a “reflective service with extensive evaluation evidence,” by judge Tina Haux.


Birmingham Children's Trust F.G.C Team,
Lifelong Links Project
Bristol City Council,
Through Care Service
Care Leaver Offer,
Protected Characteristics Campaign for Care Experienced People
Catch22 National Leaving Care Benchmark Forum,
Cost of Living Project
City of Doncaster Council and St Leger Homes,
Keys to Your Future Project

The Advice and Guidance Award

Winner: North East Young Dads and Lads Project C.I.O for DigiDAD

DigiDAD has quickly become the go to resource for young fathers, expectant dads and the wider professionals who support them. Through bespoke online content, animations and films, co-created by young dads, DigiDAD has garnered viewing figures in excess of 28,000 people over its three-year lifespan as well as an average of 250 website visitors per day and a completion rate of 82 per cent for its online parenting course.


No Limits,
Advice Centre
No Limits,
Preventing Homelessness Project

The Supporting Child Refugees Award **NEW CATEGORY**

Winner: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, Sandwell Transition Education Partnership Service

STEPS is a school-like facility that supports Sandwell’s school admissions. Once a migrant family submits a school application, a trauma-aware interview at STEPS is organised to better understand the individual’s journey, carer relationships, eligibility for Sandwell school places and to identify any support network they may already have. To date, STEPS has helped 115 children build their resilience and confidence.


Kent County Council Public Health, Working with Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children and Young People in Kent
Looked After Service - Leeds City Council Children’s Social Work Service
MACS Supporting Children and Young People, South Eastern Supported Accommodation Services
Positive Youth Foundation, The Involved Programme
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Afghan Response Team

The Youth Justice Award

Winner: Young Hackney Prevention and Diversion Team

Sponsored by:

The Safer Young Hackney Partnership Board uses diversionary and preventative child-centred strategies to reduce the unnecessary criminalisation of children and reduce first-time entrants into the youth justice system. Among children supported by Young Hackney and involved in the youth justice service in the past two years, there was a substantial reduction in the number that went on to become first-time entrants to youth custody.


London's Violence Reduction Unit, Reachable and Teachable Moments
MACS Supporting Children and Young People, Prison Resettlement Team
Nottinghamshire County Council, Nottinghamshire Youth Justice My Futures Programme
Osmani Trust, Reparations Project
Safer London and Catch22, LGE

The Workforce Development Award

Winner: The Care Leaders

Sponsored by:

The social enterprise, set up by lived-experience professionals, offers consultancy for children’s services to engage young people in service delivery, online training for school staff, and a fellowship programme to help care-experienced people develop an idea, project or business. This year, visits to the Care Leader’s e-learning site have increased by 5,000 compared with last year and 94 new schools have signed up for online training.


N.E. Youth and Youth Focus N.E, North East Youth Alliance - Workforce Development Offer
Royal Borough of Greenwich, Compassion focused systemic framework
Royal Borough of Greenwich, RBG Children’s Services - Tackling Structural Racism Group

The Partnership Working Award

Winner: Sandwell Childrens Trust - Horizons (Exploitation and Missing Team), Sandwell County Lines Intensification Week Partnership

The Partnership has safeguarded, supported, intervened and mobilised a professional and community response to criminal exploitation through training and awareness sessions delivered to young people. The partnership has delivered long- and short-term outcomes including targeted outreach visits to potential “cuckoo” addresses and detached youth work sessions delivered to support young people at risk of county lines gangs.


Bolton Together, I-Thrive
Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, Dame Kelly Holmes Trust working in partnership with Westfield Health
Lambeth Early Action Partnership, LEAP CoCreate Partnership

The Public Sector Children’s Team Award

Winner: Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Early Intervention Speech and Language Team commissioned by Small Steps Big Changes

The early intervention speech and language team deliver universal and targeted services for families with children aged nine-months- to four-years-old through group and at-home interventions as well as providing support to teach parents and caregivers strategies and activities that support children’s speech, language and communication. In the past year, 94 per cent of parents referred to the programme’s Home Talk initiative said their child had improved their talking, listening or understanding skills.


Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, Youth Engagement Team
Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, Together with Children and Families
Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Youth Counselling Service
Wiltshire Council, Child Youth and Family Voice Team

The Children’s Achievement Award

Winner: FLARE run by The Council for Disabled Children

FLARE is a group of young people with special educational needs and disabilities who advise the Department for Education. Through their work they challenge stereotyping and assumptions about young people, especially disabled children and those with special educational needs. Judge Carol Homden praised the project for delivering “evidence of progress for the individuals as well as the group”.

Highly Commended

Orson Grimer,
Auditory Verbal UK 


Jessica Purchase, Airplay Youth Support, One YMCA
Timi Jibogu, Royal Borough of Greenwich

Children and Young People’s Champion

Winner: Ben Donagh, Victim Support

Sponsored by:

As Victim Support’s national lead for children and young people, Ben is responsible for more than 50 services across England and Wales providing trauma-informed and culturally responsive support to children and around 365 staff. He has been instrumental in setting up services that are inclusive, empowering and accessible for all young people, leading to a 15% increase in the number of children working with Victim Support in the last year.

Highly Commended

Sarah Burrows,
Children Heard and Seen


Hannah Lamplugh, Leeds City Council

The Children and Young People’s Charity Award

Winner: Wigan Youth Zone

Inside Wigan Youth Zone there are opportunities for young people to access a range of services including adrenaline-pumping activities, to speak to youth workers in one-to-one mentoring sessions, or to discuss mental health concerns with wellbeing workers. Last year, Wigan Youth Zone delivered 9,500 hours of support across 77 square miles, offering free bus pick-ups, satellite youth clubs, and street-based engagement with young people every night.


Kool Carers South East
TAG Youth Club for Disabled Young People
The Children's Society

The Digital Innovation Award **NEW CATEGORY**

Winner: Catch22, Cloud 22

Cloud 22 is a fully online and remote school for students aged 14-16. Last year, the project’s average attendance rate was 75 per cent where as prior to joining the programme all the students were at 100 per cent non-attendance. Last summer, 70 per cent of Cloud 22 students moved into education, employment or training when they left the programme.


Coram Life Education: SCARF Live Online
Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, Ready, Steady Go
Noise Solution
Northpoint/SilverCloud by Amwell, Digital Mental Health Support for Children and Young People