The ceremony will be streamed on the Coram Voice YouTube channel from 5pm on 15 July and will be hosted by award-winning Scottish actor and former Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi, a long-standing supporter of the competition. It will also feature members of the competition judging panel announcing this year’s winners, including poet Mr Gee, children’s authors Lauren Child and Abi Elphinstone and rap artist Ric Flo.
This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Voices competition, which saw its highest response to date, with over 300 entries on the theme of ‘Dreams’ submitted from across the country. Just 24 of these have been shortlisted over four age categories: primary (age 4-10), lower secondary (age 11-14), upper secondary (age 15-17) and care leavers (age 18-25).
In addition to moving this year’s ceremony online, as a response to issues for care-experienced young people, Coram Voice has also announced an additional ‘Experiences of Covid-19’ category. The category, open for entries now, is for young people to submit a piece inspired by their experiences from these unprecedented times. Care-experienced young people aged between 4 and 25 can enter any form of creative writing of up to 500 words before 3 July and the winner of this category will also be announced at the ceremony on 15 July.
Peter Capaldi said: “I’m delighted to be hosting the competition again this year, albeit in a different format than originally anticipated. The competition showcases the passion and talent of resilient young people whose written pieces inspire and help us to better understand the often challenging experiences that they have growing up. I look forward to celebrating their achievements and meeting them virtually on the night.”
Brigid Robinson, Managing Director of Coram Voice, said: “We know these past few months have been incredibly challenging for many children and young people in and leaving the care system, but we continue to be inspired everyday by their resilience and creativity through difficult experiences.
“We’re so proud of everyone who entered this year’s competition and are pleased to be able to host the awards online so that we can celebrate together and share the talents of every young person who took part. There’s now another chance for care-experienced young people to get involved through our additional category, so we encourage everyone to get writing and to join us on the night!”
Gita Singham-Willis, Founding Partner at Cadence Innova, the Headline Sponsor of Voices 2020, said: “We are delighted to sponsor this great event for a second year running. The Voices Awards champion children’s creativity and development and we are proud to be a part of this inspiring competition.”
The category sponsors for this year’s competition include Club Peloton (Care Leaver category), Cadence Innova (Primary School category) and Nick and Katie Searl (Upper Secondary category).
To find out more about the Voices 2020 awards ceremony and the additional category which is now open for entries, please visit coramvoice.org.uk/voices.