Young inspectors who deliver services to South Yorkshire children scoop national award

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A team of young people who inspect services delivered to children and young people in Rotherham has been nationally recognised for their work at a prestigious award ceremony in London.

Rotherham Council’s Young Inspectors, who were set up just over two years ago to give recommendations to services about how they can better serve children and young people, have been given the “Volunteering and Social Action Award’ at the 2017 Children and Young People Now Awards.

This was the second year they had been nominated. Last year they were highly commended for their achievements. Young Inspector Laura Crerar said: “It is just fantastic to get this award I am so pleased for us all. It has been great experience working with services to make them think about how they can be more children and young people friendly.”

Co-ordinator Ashlea Harvey, who was at last night’s ceremony, added: “To get the recognition we did last year was just amazing but topping this by scooping first prize is just the icing on the cake.

“We want everyone to know about what we do and being recognised nationally I hope will inspire other council’s to also set up services just like ours.

“In the two and a half years we have been operating we have managed to secure a number of changes to the way services are delivered for children, young people and their families. We have also identified lots of positive practice and this makes us all very proud and wanting to continue doing what we do.”

The ‘Young Inspectors’ were set up in May 2015 with the aim of making sure Children and Young People’s Services are meeting quality standards, and that the voices of children and young people, including the most vulnerable, are listened to and acted upon.

Counillor Gordon Watson, Rotherham Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services, said: “Congratulations to our Young Inspectors – you truly are an inspiration to us all! You totally deserve this prize with all the hard work you have put into your service. We are committed to listening to the voice of the child and making sure this influences our decision making now and in the future as part of our child friendly initiative. Having award-winning Young Inspectors within our team will go a long way to helping us achieve this I am sure!”

This year’s event was held at London’s Lancaster Hotel last night. Representatives of the Young Inspector’s team and council officers were on hand to accept the award.

Recruitment for the Young Inspectors is ongoing, with the team looking for new volunteers to join between aged 11 and 24. Anyone interested in joining should contact Young Inspectors Co-ordinator Ashlea Harvey on 01709823917 / 07798581232 or at ashlea.harvey@rotherham.gov.uk