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National Award for Sandwell’s Youth Offending Team

Sandwell Youth Offending Service has won the Youth Justice of the Year Award at the UK-wide 2019 Shine a Light Awards organised by learning company Pearson, in partnership with The Communication Trust. 

The Shine a Light Awards, which took place at Pearson’s headquarters in London, celebrate innovative work and excellent practice in supporting children and young people’s speech, language and communication development.

Sandwell Youth Offending Service was put in the spotlight for ensuring the speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) of the young people they work with are considered at every stage from police officers working with those on caution, all the way through to those serving lengthy custodial sentences.

Frances Craven, chief executive of Sandwell Children's Trust congratulated the team on their success. She said: "It's wonderful to get recognition at this national level and to pick up such a prestigious award. 

"Our Youth Offending Team and our partners tirelessly with young people and use innovative approaches for communication. Well done to all those involved.

Michael Botham, service manager, Sandwell Youth Offending Team said: “We’re thrilled that the hard work supporting young people with SLCN has been recognised. The whole team works really hard to embed communication support into their day-to-day practice.”

Sally Phillips, Host of the 2019 Shine a Light Awards, said: “The West Midlands is home to a wealth of individuals and teams who are dedicated to helping children and young people. Huge congratulations to winners, Sandwell Youth Offending Service, for providing a fantastic service. As a nation, it is vital that we ensure that all children have the opportunity to express themselves, particularly when this ability has a profound impact on our future life chances." 

The success at the Shine a Light Awards follows a recent inspection from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Probation where the Youth Offending Team received an overall rating of 'Good'.

PIC: L-R Judge Zoe Peden from Iris Speaks, Claire Westwood, speech and laguage therapist and Michael Botham from Sandwell Youth Offending Service and Sally Phillips

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