Hundreds of young people and carers were entertained at our celebration day for the achievements of the borough's cared for children.
The ceremony was part of Our Big Day, a day-long mini-festival exclusively for children who are in our care.
Each cared for child received a certificate and goodie-bag, having been nominated by those closest to them for achieving something special in the past year in categories such as Being an Outstanding Role Model and Caring for Others, Outstanding Engagement or Progress in Education and Outstanding Determination, Resilience and Positive Attitude.
Special recognition award recipients this year included a girl aged 14 who has been outstanding in her extra-curricular work with The Children's Society as well as working hard in cadets in order to achieve her dream of working in the police. There was also a 9-year-old boy who saves some of his pocket money each week to give to the homeless and at Christmas he donated money for food parcels.
'Our Big Day is a wonderful event and we are very proud that we put this on each year'
Councillor Kieran Heakin, our Cabinet Member for Children, said: "It was wonderful to see the achievements of so many of our children and young people at the event and I was so impressed with the inspirational success stories of our cared for children. To meet people who have achieved so much against the odds and are achieving such amazing results in their education is very powerful. Our Big Day is a wonderful event and we are very proud that we put this on each year, thanks to all those involved in the event".
Following the ceremony, the event went outside into the sunshine where there was a wide array of fun activities for families to get involved in, including an inflatable assault course, messy play, crafts, football with Rochdale Football Club, a variety of sports to try out, face painting, henna and a whole host of other attractions – all free for attendees to enjoy. There was also a barbecue and ice cream van on offer to all.
Local singer Danny Dearden, who has appeared on the X Factor, also entertained crowds in the sunshine as part of the mini-music festival element to the event, which also included performances from Rochdale Music Services' samba band and sensational performances from local cheerleading group the Rays All Stars.
'A true reflection on their fantastic achievements and the support and encouragement they receive from those around them'
Gail Hopper, Director of Children's Services, said: "I am always impressed with the truly inspirational stories that come from the nominations to Our Big Day. We are really proud of all of our children and their successes. Each year the event grows and we get more and more nominations, it's a true reflection on their fantastic achievements and the support and encouragement they receive from those around them. They and their carers should be very proud. The day is about recognition and a chance for them all to have fun and celebrate".
Our Big Day is organised by us and many volunteers with support from sponsors; Oulder Hill Community School, Clock Tower Dining Room, Meritec, the Co-Op, Real Trust, Rochdale Sixth form College, Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, Rochdale AFC, Engie, GFM, Link4Life and Randstad.