FCA North East have had many firsts during these last couple of months. One of many events that have brought a smile to everyone’s faces was our first Virtual AQA Awards Ceremony. In 2019, we reintroduced AQA Awards for our young people aged 11+. The aim to support our young people to gain their independence skills, build self-esteem, support our lower achieving young people who might not get many exam certificates.
During lockdown, we opened up the AQA Awards up to children and young people of all ages. Each week we set them five different topics that ranged in skill and difficulty, so there is something for everyone.
Prior to the event we sent out the certificates and prizes to our foster parents so they could hand them to the young people as we read out their achievements, and what a lot of achievements there were… 38 in total!
At the end of May, North East staff, foster parents, children and young people joined the Teams Video Call. It was lovely to see so many happy and excited faces. We split the awards into three age groups,seven years and under, eight to 12 years and 13 years plus. As well as their certificates, the young person that achieved the most AQA Awards in their age category also received a £10 Voucher. We also wanted to acknowledge that it is not just about the amount of awards received, it is also about determination, effort and creativity. We had the pleasure of FCA Managing Director Roy Murray and FCA Operations Director Mark Cartwright joining us to recognise these awards;
- 16 year old received the ‘Award for Determination’. This young person never gives up no matter how difficult he finds something. He will always persevere.
- 10 year old received the ‘Award for Creativity’. She made an amazing collage that consisted of information and images she collected independently on animals at Edinburgh Zoo through virtual tours.
- 9 year old received the ‘Award for Effort’. This young person has put a lot of effort into helping his foster parent maintain the allotment and he has learnt many new skills whilst doing this.
The final award handed out was for the most AQA Awards achieved during the lockdown period. This award went to two brothers, aged eight and nine who between them achieved a total of 22 Awards! These ranged from independence skills such as money management, teeth cleaning and washing up to creative skills, for planting seeds, reading for pleasure and writing an informal letter.
Our very special guest Tamara Taylor presented this award. Tamara is one of only four English women who hold over 100 caps for the England Rugby Team. She also captained the team in the 2015 - Six Nations Championship and was part of the Rugby World Cup winning squad in 2014. Tamara is an Ambassador with the rugby-based children’s charity Wooden Spoon who hold their Regional Meetings at our Durham Office. This fantastic charity supports national and local charities that benefit children and young people. We were delighted and very appreciative that Tamara was able to join us.
Overall our first AQA virtual Awards Ceremony went very well – it was, as always, a delight to see so many happy and smiling faces!
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