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Partnership highly commended for helping young people

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A Dudley Council partnership has been highly commended at the inaugural National Children & Young People Awards for its work.

The Virtual Alliance, which is headed by CHADD (Churches Housing Association of Dudley and District), supports vulnerable young people aged 16 to 25 as they transition into adulthood.

The project, which aligns with the council’s Child Friendly Dudley vision, has been operating since 2019. It has helped more than 50 young people to access appropriate help and support in housing, employment, education and health.

Judges were impressed by Dudley’s submission, which provided strong evidence of successful partnership working across a number of voluntary sector organisaitons. It was selected as a finalist for the awards and was the only submission in the category to be highly commended.

Councillor Ruth Buttery, cabinet member for children’s services, said:

Dudley Council is working with our partners to realise our vision of a Child Friendly Dudley, where organisations, individuals and businesses work together to create the best possible outcomes for all our children and young people.
Projects such as the Virtual Alliance show just what can be achieved when organisations come together, and I’m so pleased to see the dedication that has gone into this wonderful programme being recognised at a national level.
The Virtual Alliance has been a lifeline for many during the challenges of the pandemic and it continues to provide young adults with advice and support in work, housing, health and wellbeing.

Sophie, a young person who has received Alliance support for just over a year, said:

They want the best for us. They want us to achieve our life goals. It’s changed my life. I’ve got a home, got a job. I’ve stepped into a different life, it’s brilliant.

The Children & Young People Awards, organised by Care Talk magazine and in association with Hays recruitment, is a celebration of excellence in frontline care and support for children, young people and families. The awards aim to highlight innovation and best practice in this area and pay tribute to those individuals or organisations who excel in quality care and support.

Anna Walsh, Chief Executive of CHADD, acting on behalf of the Alliance said:

We are delighted that the Alliance has been recognised in this way, and that young people in Dudley have access to brilliant life-changing support and homes. We are very proud to lead the work of the Alliance partnership as we continue to champion young people in the borough.

Dudley Council was also nominated for two other awards and was the only West Midlands local authority to be shortlisted across any of the twenty different categories. The ceremony took place on 28th July in Birmingham at the International Conference Centre.

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