A TEENAGER who grew up in care has been rewarded for helping children facing the same challenge.
Lydia Naylor, aged 19, has worked with Wigan Council to help improve the lives of children in care across the borough.
Miss Naylor, from Tyldesley, scooped the All Round Inspirational Person award at the Greater Manchester Care Leavers Awards.
Her triumph was down to her determination to ensure children in care are provided with the support and guidance that will give them a more positive future.
She has been in care herself, and while there she helped to set up, and became the chairman of Voices for Choices, a youth council which represents children in care.
Now a university psychology student, Miss Naylor said: “I am delighted to win this award. When I found out I had been nominated I was very surprised, so to actually win the award is absolutely brilliant.
“Being in care is not easy, but working closely with the Voice and Engagement team has been very rewarding and I’m so grateful to them.
“I now plan to take my experiences and use them to help benefit people from other disadvantaged backgrounds.
“I was able to secure a summer job through the council with the children’s rights service and Wigan Children’s Safeguarding Board which was a fantastic opportunity and one I really enjoyed.”
Lucy Wood, aged 16, from Platt Bridge, was one of just four young people from hundreds nominated for the Children’s Achievement Award at the Children and Young People Now Magazine Awards.
She has been involved with Wigan Council’s Voices for Choices scheme for four years and is now its chairman. Cllr Susan Loudon, Wigan Council cabinet member for children, said: “Lydia and Lucy are fantastic role models and they have taken their experiences of being in care to improve the lives of other young people in their position and give them a voice.
“Their work dispels unfair myths that children in care are trouble-makers and they have been and continue to be incredibly beneficial to the service we provide.”