Thurrock celebrates its children in care

13 June 2024

A special awards ceremony celebrated the achievements of young people living in care in Thurrock.

Cllr Kairen Raper, Mayor of Thurrock, attended the heartwarming ceremony on Friday 31 May at Orsett Hall, presenting awards to all nominated children in care.

The event was made possible through the generous support and funding from four local businesses:

  • DG International
  • DP World London Gateway
  • HW Wilson Limited
  • SEIB Insurance Brokers

The children nominated for awards were put forward by their social workers, recognising their incredible journey and accomplishments. Awards were given in various categories, including Overcoming Adversity, Building Relationships, and Achievement in Sport.

One notable award, Achievement in Education, was won by Evan Amery, 18, who recently left care. Despite significant interruptions to his education, Evan has thrived during his first year of college and has received an unconditional offer from South Essex University to study performing arts.

Evan said: "The Children in Care Awards event was a brilliant celebration that brings the fostering community together to celebrate all their achievements. It was great to meet so many other professionals that have helped us on our journey in care."

Another inspiring recipient was former care-leaver Shantisha Pande, 21, who won the Young Voice Award. Shantisha has been an influential member of the Thurrock's Young Voices group, working tirelessly to shape and improve services for Thurrock's young people.

As an aspiring musician, Shantisha also had the opportunity to sing at the awards event.

Shantisha said: "I am proud to have been nominated for this award amongst so many other amazing people in care.

"I'm looking forward to building on my work with Thurrock's Young Voices to help ensure that there are services available that meet the needs of the young people in our borough.

"I had the amazing opportunity of performing my own song in front of the mayor and other attendees at the awards. The song will be out on all platforms very soon."

Thurrock has many children still in need of local carers. Residents interested in becoming foster carers can find more information at

Photo below: Shantisha and Evan at the awards ceremony.