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City of Bristol College celebrates Care Day 23

Care Day was established by children and young people from the EPIC Care Community and Youth Councils in February 2016 as a dedicated day to celebrate the positive experiences and contributions of children and young people in care or with care experience.

The aim of the day is to recognise every care-experienced young person as an individual with their own unique story, ambitions and dreams for the future.

The theme of this year is ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover, embrace our stories instead!’ and by partaking in the day’s celebrations, we can learn stories of hope, courage, talent and achievement.

At City of Bristol College, it’s important to us for all of our students to feel welcomed and at home as part of our community. So, we decided to mark the day with a pre-half term celebration complete with tea and cake in the café at our Ashley Down Centre.

Some of our 250 care-experienced students, English speakers of other languages students and staff members all came together in unison for a wonderful morning where we invited everyone to share their stories in a safe environment.

Pictures of the smiling faces of students adorned the walls of the café, along with posters promoting Care Day 23 and hand-drawn flags representing the countries that our students are proud to hail from.

The morning was organised by Kirsty Cross, Designated Lead for Children in Care and Care Leavers. Talking of the day, Kirsty said: “Care day is a day that was established in February 2016 to recognise the achievements of young people with care experience. It’s important to celebrate them as sometimes they might have to work harder than some other young people because of the experiences that they’ve been through.”

The morning commenced with a talk that shone a spotlight on some of the recent achievements of our 250 care-experienced students.

For example, one of our students, Will, who has been with us for three years was originally enrolled on a different course but has now found his groove studying L1 catering. For someone who didn’t think they would return to college at the end of each academic year, Will really has gone from strength to strength.

Another student, Raian, is from Kurdistan and is currently working extremely hard on his maths and English skills. He always makes a point to say hello to staff and fellow students and thoroughly enjoys being part of our community.  

In summary of the day, Kirsty continued: “The atmosphere is fantastic, happy, cheery, and the good thing is that no students knew they were getting a gift. They came here not really knowing, they knew it was Care Day but they didn’t know I was going to say how fantastic they are.”

Looking to the future and following the success of this year’s celebrations, we are planning for the way we mark Care Day next year to be an even bigger event and a way to gather everyone together in a celebratory atmosphere.

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