MO GILLIGAN has been announced as the headliner of an event designed to empower and inspire young people who have lived in care.
The virtual event, Be Inspired 2020, has been organised by BBC reporter Ashley John-Baptiste in partnership with the Care Leaver Covenant and Southwark Council.
It seeks to motivate and equip care experienced 14-25 year olds to plan for their future by learning about different careers from industry experts and giving them the opportunity to connect with each other.
John-Baptiste grew up in care from the age of four is now a senior reporter and presenter at the BBC and Cambridge University graduate. He was driven to create the event to help those with similar stories to his own.
He said: “I want care leavers to believe in themselves, see a better future and find out about all of the different career opportunities that are out there. Opportunities that are there for anyone – regardless of their background.
“It is my belief that regardless on 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 in their future careers.”
Be Inspired will feature a range of speakers, panels offering practical advice, breakout sessions and workshops giving insight into career opportunities across many different industries, alongside tools for personal growth and entertaining performances.
As well as Mo Gilligan, emerging star Griff will also perform at the virtual event. The Ivor Novello nominated singer songwriter will perform her new single Forgive Me as part of her set.
John-Baptiste said: “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, and Mo Gilligan and GRIFF are just two of the big names we are set to announce in the run up to the launch.”
Initially planned to take place in London, event organisers were forced to adapt the event because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
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.
“For young care experienced people, who will have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, to be able to hear from and get involved in workshops and panel discussions with some of the top names in entertainment, politics and business will go a long way to inspire, lift and connect with them, giving them tools and direction to fulfil their dreams.”
The five-day event which starts streaming at 6pm on Monday 27 July and ends on Friday 31 July will feature a series of online shows which will be streamed via a password protected event website.
Free registrations for Be Inspired is open and is available on the event website www.beinspiredonline.org.uk.