Essex County Council is celebrating after a quartet of nominations for the prestigious Children and Young People Now (CYPN) Awards.
Among those shortlisted are a group of young people from Uttlesford who took part in last autumn’s National Citizen Service (NCS) programme.
The national scheme, run locally by Essex County Council’s Youth Service, gives young people the chance to learn important life skills and give something back to their communities.
It is the third consecutive year the council’s youth service has been nominated for a CYPN award, with the Uttlesford NCS team shortlisted in this year’s National Citizen Service Award category after running a community action project to raise awareness of mental health issues.
The 16 and 17 year olds created a powerful film on the subject, which they presented to more than 1,000 young people during school assemblies across Essex.
They also raised about £250 for Saffron Walden-based charity Open Door, which offers counselling for young people.
Other Essex County Council nominations include the Changemakers team, which works with the Essex Children in Care Council.
The group of young people, who are up for an award in the Children in Care Award category, play an important role in helping ensure the views of children and young people are considered by key decision makers.
They recently produced a video on child exploitation that is now used on some social work MA modules.
The Family Operations Essex Social Care Academy (ESCA), which organises and advocates professional development and training for the council’s social workers, as well as foster carers and partners such as Essex Police, is also shortlisted.
The ESCA team is among the finalists in the Recruitment and Professional Development Award category.
Finally, Essex County Council’s Special Guardianship Team, which provides support to those affected by Special Guardianship, is nominated in the Public Sector Children’s Team Award.
The team provides advice guidance and practical support, as well as respite and therapeutic interventions.
Cllr Dick Madden, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Children, said: “As a council we are committed to ensuring all children get the best possible start in life.
“We have incredibly dedicated staff working closely with children and families across the county, and I am delighted the positive contribution they make to young people’s lives has been acknowledged.
“My colleagues and I are extremely proud to have four separate teams at Essex County Council nominated for such prestigious awards.”
Now in their 11th year, the CYPN Awards provide much-deserved recognition for those working with children, young people and families.
The winners will be revealed at a ceremony in London on Thursday, 24 November.