Events coming up and news

Positive and Proactive

praise for Sunderland Childrens Services partnership with Sunderland University in supporting training for the adoption team through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships- Click Here to read the full story. Sunderland partnership praised by adoption expert. A partnership that is leading the way to a better future for children in care in Sunderland has been praised by a leading national voice on adoption.Sunderland City Council is working with the University of Sunderland on a wide ranging Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), to ensure young people in the care system, who are waiting to find their permanent home, are given the best possible support to deal with their social and emotional needs. National adoption advisor Al Coates has described Sunderland's efforts as ‘very positive and proactive’

A New Joint Venture

CEL&T are delighted to announce that we are working with Inspired Foundations to enable us to continue to provide training and online CPD units. A growing number of parents, professionals and para-professionals are developing new skills, knowledge and understanding for working with and supporting children and young people who have experienced attachment difficulties, loss and/ or trauma. The importance of understanding the child or young persons position is highlighted within the new NICE Guidelines, as well as research and reports relating to emotional health and wellbeing. This has led to an increase in enquiries and need to provide more training both online and onsite. By working with Inspired Foundations we are better placed to meet this growing demand now and in the future. Whilst remaining independent organisations we feel that collaboration will enable us to meet the needs of far more parents, professionals and para-professionals than we could alone. We very much look forward to the development opportunities this provides for CEL&T

Supporting Manzini Youth Care (CEL&T abroad)

In July 2016, Karen Tait and Margaret Parsons, tutors on the University of Sunderland Childhood Studies team spent two weeks in Manzini in Swaziland. This was Karen’s third visit, and Margaret’s first, to see the work of Manzini Youth Care, an organisation which runs a wide range of projects in the local community. We were able to visit some of the projects and also contribute in a very practical way through the money raised by Childhood Studies students during 2015-16.One of the most exciting moments of the two weeks was the day we visited one of the poorest communities in Manzini and saw the real impact of the money raised by the Childhood Studies students.
This is not ‘just’ a tap; it’s so much more than this. This resource was paid for by money raised by Childhood Studies students and having a ready supply of fresh water makes a significant difference to the lives of families. It provides clean drinking water and allows families to grow their own food so contributes to better health. It also allows families to do many of the things we take for granted, such as being able to wash clothes. The ‘Childhood Studies’ tap will therefore make a big difference. We saw this when we visited another family who are making good use of their supply of fresh water from the tap that was provided by our colleagues at St Anthony’s School in Sunderland; the crop of vegetables wouldn’t be possible without this. While we were in the community, we were told about a family who would really benefit from having a tap installed. In a one room house, an elderly lady looks after her grandson and other children who have special needs, despite the fact that she is herself unable to move much from her bed. It was moving to meet this lady who is trying to make a better life for vulnerable children, so we were happy to be able to leave funds raised by Childhood Studies students to install a tap for her. Visitors from Sunderland have always worked very closely with Manzini Youth Care’s school at Enjabulweni and this year was no exception. This time, there was some practical work to do, as the team organised the repair of ceilings in two classrooms and then set about painting them, We had help from some of the boys and girls who worked hard to help finish the work on our very last day.Led by the inspiring and dedicated Sister Elsa, Hope House offers care and rehabilitation for individuals and their families; this might be end of life care and support or helping people to rebuild their lives after serious and life changing accidents. Sister Elsa showed us round the new physiotherapy block that is almost finished and which will provide much needed services for the community. Karen passed on to Sister Elsa some resources for the physiotherapy services and money raised by the Childhood Studies students was donated for the purchase of walking frames and other essential resources.Next to Hope House is a clinic which provides health care for the community and an important part of its work is the eye clinic. This year, thanks to the donations of those supporting Manzini Youth Care in the Sunderland and the North East, we were able to give staff in the eye clinic a huge number of pairs of glasses, new and pre-owned, which were donated by Childhood Studies students and staff; these can be adapted for re-use

Well Done – we are delighted for you both

We are absolutely delighted that Al Coates won the National 'Blogger of scott 2the Year' Award last night- whist this is not the 1st time he has won this type of Award, his discussions are both thought provoking and highly engaging, with such a large folloing it is evident he certainly knows how to engage with many people. This is a well deserved recognition of the hours and work Al puts into an area he (and we) are very passionate about. We would also like to recognise Scott Casson-Rennie who won Adoption Champion of the Year- Adoption UK must be very proud to have you on their team.




We would like to congratulate award winning students EMMA DOUGHERTY and STEVE DAY having both won the Eve Ravenscroft Award whilst at Sunderland University as student on the BA (Hons) Childhood Studies Programme. Recipients of the annual awards which have been running for a number of years, are nominated by their faculties in recognition of their high academic achievement and individual commitment to continuing professional development and involvement with wider activities alongside their studies, and both are well deserved.

Steve Day 3

Last year mature student Steve (parent and husband) juggled his family commitmentswon the Ede Ravenscroft Award, completed his BA (Hons Childhood Studies) programme gaining a 1st class Degree, won the Student Award having been voted for by students and won the Fundraising Award - he was certainly going for the Hat Trick. Steve is now studying for his Social Work Qualification as a post graduate at Durham University whilst also working part-time in a childrens home so is putting all his learning about the reality for Children who have Experienced Loss and Trauma into practice not only from his undergraduate degree but also from his post-graduate study.
Emma%20thumbFollowing in Steve's footsteps, this year Emma (23) also won the Ede Ravenscroft Award, and is an inspiration to Care Leavers. Emma who spent most of her early life and teenage years in foster care, completed her BA (Hons Childhood Studies) programme only after taking a study break of more than a year to look after her natural birth mother Janet, who she remained close to throughout the family’s difficulties. Whilst Emma’s mother didn’t live to see her daughter graduate and take the first step in her career as a Social Work Assistant with Sunderland City Council, both her foster parents, who have supported Emma throughout her early life and education were there to share her big day. Emma was also supported by and Sunderland City Council’s ‘Next Steps’ care leavers support programme which helped fund her studies.  


Great to see CHILDHOOD STUDIES STUDENTS from the UNIVERSITY OF SUNDERLAND supporting the OPEN NEST with their summer camp this year and being creative in their ideas for working with children who have experienced loss and trauma. Well done guys


We are absolutely delighted that MARK THORLEY has received a DIANA AWARD as Champion Fundraiser having 2008supported very many children in the North East for 10 years from the age of 6. Mark has walked, ran, skied and baked to name a few of the things he did to raise funds for children in the North East Region and for The Open Nest; many of these children and young people have experienced Loss and Trauma in a range of ways during their lives. Nominated by the Childhood Studies Team at University of Sunderland, we feel this is well deserved recognition for this young teen.