The ANV AMPLIFY awards aim to champion and recognise the work of children in care councils and care leaver forums. They were held in October 2022 (Amplify – Coram Voice) – Essex children in care council were nominated for the ‘Community award’


The ‘Proud to be Me’ group was established in response to the global movement Black Lives Matter movement as well as in response to local issues raised by the children in care council around ethnically diverse children not being supported with their hair and skincare.

The group is for young people to support each other – they look at identity, racism, cultural differences & meet with different professionals such as the lead for anti-racist practice. They have supported the development of a ‘thinking tool for professionals’ on Race, Ethnicity, Religious Beliefs & Culture.

The group also especially enjoys cooking & dancing together.

The work was praised by the young people judges: “We hope that this inspires more work like this!…it is so important to explore cultural differences and it’s great that this group enables a space to embrace this.”


The ‘Proud to be Me’ group worked together to explore culture and identity, and developed “Please Do, Please Don’t” guidelines; these are included in Essex County Council’s Co-Parenting Strategy 2022 to 2027 and messages from the group are shared with decision-makers.

Those attending the group report a sense of community and feel it’s made a difference to them; “It’s important to not feel like the odd one out and to see and spend time with others like us.”