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Last updated:
10 October 2019
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Countdown to the EPIC awards 2019 has now begun

Find details of the EPIC awards ceremony 2019.

Taking place in Crawley in September the awards will see over 500 young people in care, care leavers and their friends and family celebrate their achievements.

The Exceptional People In Care (EPIC) awards have been running for eight years and are organised by young people from the Children in Care Council and professionals who work with them.

Stars of sport, stage and screen

This years award ceremony theme is 'Music Festival' and the day will see the venue transformed into a giant festival, with activities and entertainment throughout the venue for young people to take part in and enjoy.

The ceremony will also feature appearances and video messages from celebrities from the world of sports, music and showbiz. Read more about that fantastic day on our main news page and view the video below featuring some of the celebrities that attended.

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Help make this the best day ever

Do you have any connections with celebrities that would be known to young people aged 5-25 years old who could record a short video message or attend on the day?

We found that messages of around 15 seconds work better and are easier to send. Your message should be congratulating and recognising the young people’s achievements on the day.

An example might be:
"Hello everyone at EPIC AWARDS for Extraordinary Young People in Care from me .... I wanted to thank you for being amazing and wish you all good luck at this ceremony. I know you’ve been doing remarkable things. Each and every one of you is incredible and I wish you well in reaching for the stars and achieving your dreams."

The best way to record your message is on a mobile phone and then simply use a file transfer service like wetransfer.com to send it to epic.awards@westsussex.gov.uk.

Alternatively you could send it via WhatsApp to 07850 251 372.

Are you a company/charity or organisation that would be able to help us by donating money towards making this the best day possible?

Are you a professional/carer or young person in care or care leaver that would like to join our organising committee?

Watch this space for the latest news of the awards ceremony.

Who can be nominated?

Nominations for this years ceremony are now closed - but you can now nominate for our 2020 awards below.

Nominate a young person for an award (closes 28 June 2020) (external link) Nominate an adult for an award (closes 28 June 2020) (external link)

There are four nomination categories:

  • Big hearts - For young people who have helped others
  • Big talents - For young people who have talents in art, dance, sports or other supreme achievement
  • Big thinkers - For those have really tried or succeeded in academic achievement, improved their attendance, have improved their behaviour over time, applied themselves to work, or achieved a place at college or university
  • Big strength - For those who have been brave, overcome a challenge or challenging times, or faced their fears.

Everyone nominated will receive a trophy, certificate, goody bag and an invitation for them and two guests to a special award ceremony in the Autumn to recognise their achievements.

“This award nomination has made me feel good, that people believe in me, even though I don’t always believe in myself.” (Young person in care nominated for an EPIC award)

Last years winner story

Percy won the Big Hearts category in 2018. We caught up with him to see what he’s been up to and what the awards meant to him:

"I’m at college, I’ve finished by BTEC Level 2 in Science and next year I start my Level 3. I’m planning to go to University to study Chemical Engineering in 2 years.

"I wasn’t expecting it. I heard the name read out, and I thought that sounds like me, and I was so surprised and happy. I thought “This is amazing!"

"There were people screaming and afterward I felt so proud. When I first arrived in the UK I didn’t think I’d achieve anything but I had achieved this award through my hard work.

"The award has opened other doors for me. Lots of people now remember me from winning the category, and I am so proud. I would say to other people in care just be yourself."

Sue's story

Sue won the Best Supporting Adult Award at the EPIC awards 2018. Here's what she's been up to since winning the category:

"I’ve been busy working with a support group to help create a handbook for foster carers who specifically look after unaccompanied asylum seeking children. I have also been helping the recruitment team to promote looking after children from another country when they recruit new Foster Carer’s.

"My current two Iranian young people are in higher education with one going to University in September and the other studying for final A Levels this year, so busy preparing and supporting them through this transition. Both are going to remain with us under Staying Put arrangements once 18. This means we've run out of space now so we are currently having the loft extended so we can carry on fostering!

"I was really overwhelmed when I won the awards and I certainly didn’t think I’d win it!. I felt very proud and humbled to be nominated by my young people. They both won EPIC awards too which was amazing.

"What made it even more special is that both of them had the Mind Of My Own One app on their phones, who sponsored my award! I was so shocked - I forgot to mention this important bit in my thank you speech!"

What advice would you give to other adults supporting young people?

"Keep a good sense of humour, have fun with your young people and make time for yourself!"

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