My day at the House of Lords

Posted by Rhea Stevens / Wednesday 12 November 2014 / Chance to stay Participation Children in care

Action for Children’s Stephenson Awards recognise the colleagues, volunteers, supporters and foster carers who demonstrate passion, equality and hope and go the extra mile for children, young people, families and the charity.  This is one of the ways we celebrate our successes and say thank you to  inspiring individuals.

Chelsea won a Stephenson Award because of her passion and commitment to the Chance to Stay – Cyfle i Aros campaign. This campaign  helped changed the law in Wales so young people can remain with their foster carers until they are 21. Here are her reflections on the day:

"When I found out I was nominated for the Stephenson Award I was so happy. But at the same time I didn’t really understand why because I wanted to campaign for young people in foster carer Chance to Stay no matter what happened. I know how much it will mean to young people who need this chance. I didn’t realise people could get awards for campaigning.

I’ve always wanted to go to London and knowing I was going was overwhelming. I was so excited preparing my outfit and getting reading to go, but very nervous at the same time.

It was amazing when I found out I was going to the House of Lords because from doing the Chance to Stay campaign I have an interest with politics. I soon realised it was a life time opportunity to actually go inside the House of Lords. I was on google all the time looking at pictures and couldn’t contain my excitement. When I told my friends they were all jealous, so that was a positive haha!

When I got to the House of Lords we were welcomed by some inspiring people. Some people there I had met before and it was quite a relaxed feeling, except for police with guns outside.

The ceremony was brilliant seeing everyone have their awards and finding out what they had achieved. It was quite sad hearing some stories, but a happy type of sad. The event itself couldn’t have been any better. The food was absolutely astonishing, the best food I’ve tasted yet My favourite part was when they were giving out the awards. It was so amazing to know what people do to help children in foster care in particular.

Our table was full of incredible individuals who we all praised so much for what they had done to help children and young people. I couldn’t believe how many people praised me for campaigning. It was a fun event and I’d d do anything to do it again. I was sat on a table with Tony, Action for Children’s Chief Executive. He’s really funny and made me laugh a lot. It was a happy funny day we all had some great laughs.

I still can’t believe that I’ve been to the House of Lords or that I was nominated for an award. It hasn’t really sunk in properly. I am so grateful that I was able to go and have an amazing day that I may not experience again. It’s made me want to help children in care even more because I know what I’ve done goes a long way to people and it is recognised and people are thankful from what I have done :)

I will treasure the award and memories forever and I’d like to thank everyone for such an amazing welcome, surprise and a joyful day."

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