Award for Greater Manchester Looked After Children’s Forum

The Greater Manchester Looked After Children’s Forum has been recognised for its work by winning a NEON Widening Access Partnership Award at the Palace of Westminster.

The Forum’s primary focus is supporting the educational progression of Care Leavers and Looked‑After Children. The University of Manchester is represented on the forum, which meets once a term.

Demonstrating its true partnership, members are drawn from the Greater Manchester HEIs, local authorities, and third sector organisations. The forum not only allows the opportunity for sharing information, experience and knowledge, but also for the planning of collaborative activities, such as the annual Care Leaver Awards.

The forum has provided opportunities for staff to share information and expertise and for collaborators to get involved in various projects, including focusing on homelessness, research and increasing apprenticeship participation across Care Leavers.

NEON (National Educational Opportunities Network) is a national organisation which brings together widening participation practitioners. The NEON Awards provide a platform to celebrate the work of partners and the success of learners.

"This award is great recognition for the work of the Greater Manchester Looked After Children’s Forum," said Stephanie Lee, the University’s Head of Widening Participation and Outreach. "Looked after children and young people leaving care are significantly under-represented in higher education, so the Forum’s collaborative approach - bringing together a range of educational institutions and services - is really important to addressing this inequality."

The University is proud to be an active member of the Forum, contributing to a range of activities with young people and their supporters through the year.
Stephanie Lee, Head of Widening Participation and Outreach

In addition, students from the University were highly commended in two other categories. Launched in January 2017, the Student Inspire Network was highly commended in the Widening Access Initiative (Retention and Success). This new and exciting project is being delivered for students by students, taking a simple model to improve access to careers information for students from BAME backgrounds.

Memona Shahid was also highly commended in the NEON Student of the Year category. An undergraduate Pharmacy student, Memona has been making an invaluable impact to the educational journey of young people from her local area in Manchester since 2014. Memona set up a successful project (LIGHTSS) in Longsight that aimed to offer space for disadvantaged students to revise for their exams which has reached more than 200 students.

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