YOUNG care leavers have been recognised in annual awards ceremony.

Ten young people have won prizes with many more nominated at Wigan borough's annual Care Leaver Awards.

The ceremony, which is run by the local authority in partnership with Pathways, includes accolade which value contributions to the community, showing resilience and overcoming adversity. 

Kayleigh Clark, 25, from Wigan, was presented with the Care Leaver of the Year Award for always staying positive, thinking of others and working hard while facing challenges.

She is part of the borough's Care Leavers' Council and helped to set up CL Creations, a cafe that teaches care leavers how to cook easy, nutritious meals.

She said: "This feels crazy but I was so happy to win. I’ve been through a lot this year and I’ve been nominated a few times in the past so I didn’t expect to win.

"To other young care leavers, I would say, never give up, even when times are tough. You’ve got to keep on going and stay as positive as you can."

Daryll Corbett, 23, from Leigh, collected the Special Achievement Award.

He was singled out producing exceptional coursework and having excellent attendance and time keeping skills at Wigan and Leigh College.

Darryl said: "I was shocked when I heard my name as the winner but it feels amazing.

"It’s important to have awards like this because it helps recognise our achievements.

"Loads of people were nominated so to win feels like I must have really achieved something good."

Kim Slater, 19, from Wigan, picked up the Academic Achiever Award accolade after completing her A Levels, gaining a place at her first choice of university and showing incredible devotion to her younger siblings.

She said: "Some of these things that we’re getting awards for might seem like normal things for everyone else but we’ve had a few more challenges than most so it is an extra achievement.

"I feel like I’ve been recognised and that makes me feel emotional."

Joe Shaw, 21, from Hindley, won the Peer Role Model Award for his role in helping to improve the services offered to young people in care and care leavers in the borough, regionally and nationally.

He has also picked up a national "champion of champions" award at the National Leaving Care Benchmarking Forum Awards.

The Trish Hurlock Progression Award was presented to Emma Lisle, from Atherton, for always giving her time to help others, taking setbacks in her stride and seeing the positive in everything.

Clara Heathcote, from Leigh, won the Overcoming Adversity Award for completing Wigan Council’s Confident Futures programme and securing work and her own property.

The Community Contribution prize went to Chloe Dyson, from Wigan, for her work in her nearby community centre, the care leavers council and CL Creations Café.

Alisha Hilton, from Wigan, won the Transitioning to Parenthood Award for being courageous, strong and ambitious and setting clear goals for herself and her young family’s future.

The Deal Ambassador accolade was handed to Natasha Rainey, from Wigan, for securing work, achieving academic qualification, travelling and her involvement in the care leavers council and CL Creations cafe.

Jason Cunningham, from Abram, won the Commitment to Employment gong for excelling in his daily work and always helping others.

Two other young care leavers from the borough, James Galvin and Kiera Charnock, were also recognised at the Greater Manchester Care Leaver Awards.

The council offers support to young care leavers in a number of ways.

It provides each young person with a personal advisor to guide them through finding housing, education opportunities or work and to give social and emotional support where needed. 

Young care leavers can also visit the CL Creations cafe, join the care leavers' council and help to influence decisions the council makes about services for young people in care.

Cllr Jenny Bullen, portfolio holder for children and young people at the council, said: "It’s important that we work with young people to make sure the services we offer are what’s needed and that we recognise their achievements and build their confidence so that they can go on to become successful adults.

"This event has been so positive. Many of the young people nominated for these awards have overcome significant challenges in their lives and I am very proud of them for being so resilient and, despite the challenges, going on to do well in life and to help others too."