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Be Inspired 2021 – live virtual experience giving care experienced young people a voice Stand-up comedian and TV personality Judi Love to headline virtual online event

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Be Inspired 2021 (@Be_Inspired_UK) – live virtual experience giving care experienced young people a voice Stand-up comedian and TV personality Judi Love (@1Judilove) to headline virtual online event.

CARE experienced young people from throughout the UK are being given a voice thanks to an inspiring and exciting virtual online experience that is set to spark aspiration and drive ambition.

Be Inspired 2021 seeks to inspire, empower and equip care experienced young people who want to take a hold of their future, learn from industry experts and connect with each other.

This year’s theme Bouncing Back from Covid will equip care leavers with the motivation to navigate this difficult time, while giving practical tips on taking care of mental wellbeing during a global pandemic.

Headlining the event is award winning TV personality and comedian Judi Love. The former social worker, who worked with looked after children, will talk passionately about the resilience of care experienced young people.

Founded by Ashley John-Baptiste, Be Inspired is delivered in partnership with the Care Leaver Covenant and Southwark Council. It will talk to the 70,000 young people currently in care in the UK and the 10,000 who leave care each year, becoming care leavers. And, will connect care experienced young people with inspirational artists and wellbeing coaches to open minds to new opportunities.

Be Inspired is set to bring world class speakers, panels offering practical advice and breakout sessions and workshops giving insight into various industries, alongside tools for personal growth and fun performances.

After growing up in care from the age of four, event founder Ashley John-Baptiste, now a senior reporter and presenter at the BBC and Cambridge University graduate, has been driven to creating an event for young people with a similar story to his own.

Ashley said: “We want care leavers and young people in care to know they are not alone and that their dreams still matter, no matter that we have just been through a global pandemic. They are not overlooked.

“We hope Be Inspired will help care leavers feel seen and empowered to pick up their lives from the shadow of Covid, giving them the inspiration to dream big.

“It is my belief that regardless of where you start out in life there is no limit to the future you can have and what you can achieve. Through Be Inspired care experienced young people will be given the tools they need to know that they can flourish.”

The online event which starts on Friday 30th July at 4pm will be streamed via a password protected event website and will be available on the website for a further four weeks.

The entertaining and fast paced show, Red Nose Day meets Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show, will feature a host of big-name performers and speakers, while panels will give viewers mental wellbeing advice and guidance.

Speakers and performers at this year’s event also include Bafta award winning comedian and actress Sophie Willan, a care leaver herself; Ric Flo, who uses the art of rap and his experience in foster care to encourage positivity in young people; singer songwriter Luke Burr; and wellbeing coach Penny Jarrett.

Talking about why she decided to get involved Judi said: “Getting involved was an easy decision. After learning that the event was aimed at inspiring care experienced children and young people, I felt compelled to tell my story in the hope that I may inspire others and be a catalyst towards their self-empowerment.

“I want care experienced young people to believe they can achieve their dreams with focus and dedication.”

The idea for Be Inspired followed the success of an event organised by Ashley and Southwark Council in 2019, which brought together care experienced young people to encourage them to get the education and training they needed to fulfil their ambitions.

In 2020, Ashley and Southwark Council set their sights higher and partnered with the Care Leaver Covenant, a national organisation that tackles the disadvantages that young people aged 16-25 face when leaving care and helps them to live independently.

Together they have enlisted the support of the some of the UK’s largest local authorities including Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Telford and Wrekin Council, Walsall Council, Devon Country Council and Hackney Council to raise awareness of the event with young people in care and care leavers in their areas.

Ashley added: “So far we’ve had great engagement with young people in the care community and now we want to spread the word that our virtual event will be streaming later this month. We’ve got some great artists lined up.

“We are pleased to partner with the Care Leaver Covenant once again, who are committed to supporting young people into education, training and employment, and can spread the word about Be Inspired within their network of care leavers and signatories.”

Matthew Gordon, Chief Executive of Spectra, delivery partner of the Care Leaver Covenant, said: “Be Inspired is such an exciting and inspirational event for young people in care and care leavers.

“Coming out of the coronavirus pandemic care experienced young people face enormous challenges. Be Inspired will provide a platform for them to get involved in workshops and panel discussions with some top names in entertainment and will go a long way to inspire, lift and connect with them, giving them tools and direction to fulfil their dreams.”

Free registrations for Be Inspired is open and is available on the event website  

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