4Uth 2018 winners

Overall winner: Darren Yemm

Darren Yemm has been crowned as the Newark and Sherwood and overall winner of the 4Uth award for his commitment to representing the voice of young people, particularly Children-in-Care, whilst overcoming obstacles presented by being in the care system and latterly a care leaver.

Darren is 20 and lives in Newark.  He has been jointly nominated by Emma Betteridge and Debbie Swanwick, youth workers with the county council’s Youth Engagement Team. 

Emma said: “Darren has made an outstanding contribution to the Children in Care Council, the UK Youth Parliament, his involvement as Chair of No Labels group and his local district youth forum in Newark & Sherwood, all of which have been achieved whilst he has coped with various obstacles.”

Darren has been in the care system for most of his life, separated from his family and siblings, and for the past few years Darren has been a care leaver which has meant learning to live by himself. At the same time he has been committed to a number of projects and worked hard to improve services such as health care and fostering. 

In June Darren helped coordinate a regional Children in Care Council meeting with representatives from 7 regions in the East Midlands. The aim of the day was to develop a coordinated regional pledge to Children in Care. He has also for many years supported the Looked After Child Achievement Day for the virtual school by speaking onstage and introducing guests. Recently Darren delivered participation training to front line staff in young people’s services.

Deb continued: “Darren has also been involved in supporting fellow Members of the UK Youth Parliament and been a keen campaigner in his locality by developing LGBT+ projects.  All of this has been achieved through his own determination and self-motivation.

Darren, aged 20, is now studying in the first year of a BA (Hons) Interactive Design course at Lincoln University (currently only 0.2% of care leavers go on to higher education). He said: 

I was very surprised to be nominated for the 4Uth awards and very happy to have been named as a district winner. I am still very much in touch with youth and care issues in Nottinghamshire as I am a member of the Children and Care Council which meets a number of times a year. I am very proud of this achievement.”

Councillor Tracey Taylor, Vice-Chairman of the Children and Young People’s Committee, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The 4Uth award recognises his excellent contribution to promoting care services for children in Nottinghamshire and we commend him for being named as the Newark and Sherwood district winner for this year’s 4Uth awards.”

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