Ykids founder Claire Morgans with her Grand Pride Of Sefton award at The Grand in Southport. Photo by Kevin Brown Photography

The founder of a charity based in Bootle that supports thousands of young people has been honoured at the 2024 Pride of Sefton Awards. 

Claire Morgans, the founder and CEO of Ykids, was recognised as a Finalist in the Main Award, which was won by Denise Fergus. 

This year marks the 20th birthday of the Ykids charity working to bring hope and transformation in the lives of children and young people in Bootle and across Sefton and the Liverpool City Region.

With a passion to help young people discover their potential and purpose, Ykids has delivered hundreds of children’s projects, community events, family support, community pantry and school work, creating a lasting legacy of change in people’s lives.

Every Ykids works intensively with around 300 young people and also offers activities and events for over 10,000.
Each year Ykids distributes food for 40,000 meals through its community pantry.

Ykids has also set up social enterprises which have given training, employment, qualifications and experience to over 130 young people who had barriers to work.

It has won numerous awards for its arts projects with young people including creating an artwork with Faith Bebbington which featured in pride of place for a number of years in Liverpool World Museum. 

People can enjoy the new Bootle Stands Up! comedy event at the Salt and Tar Comedy Weekender in Bootle. From left: Brendan Riley (Big Comedy UK); Claire Morgans (Ykids); and Trevor Murrray (Dowhigh)

People can enjoy the new Bootle Stands Up! comedy event at the Salt and Tar Comedy Weekender in Bootle. From left: Brendan Riley (Big Comedy UK); Claire Morgans (Ykids); and Trevor Murrray (Dowhigh)

It has set up innovative projects including community gardens, bee keeping and more recently Kingsley and Co, a Victorian Explorer Steam Punk themed children’s bookshop and literacy project based in Bootle Strand which offers free activities to low income families and sells quality second hand books for just £1. 

The bookshop has been relocated due to the redevelopment of the Strand – courtesy of a human chain passing thousands of books along the road!
Ykids sets up and delivers Bootle Children’s Literary Festival which brings together local authors and artists with schools across Sefton and the Liverpool City Region in three weeks of workshops, events and activities celebrating stories. 

The festival in November 2023 saw over 5,500 children meet authors and receive workshops and 43 schools engage.
It has produced a number of books written by children including two short story books, a cookery book and a poetry book.

It also set up ‘The Believe Awards’ a local event which has now become regional, celebrating children and young people who are unsung heroes.

Ykids has raised over £6 million over the last 20 years which it has reinvested back into the children and young people of Bootle.

The charity has an emphasis on young leadership and actively engages young people in volunteering with many going on to gain employment with the charity in later years.

It has delivered many large-scale community projects from painting murals, street play projects to pirate festivals and dinosaur digs. All free so that families in our poorest communities have access to quality cultural family experiences.

During Covid, Ykids did not close but supported the community and children with monthly activities packs, online competitions, events and clubs and practical support such as food and collecting prescriptions.

At the heart of Ykids however is the passion to see lives changed. As a result of its work, children have been rescued from abusive homes, domestic violence, and gangs. Young people have developed self-esteem, had their aspirations raised and gained qualifications and skills that have set them up for life.

Ykids is committed to children in the long term with case studies many years long. Its ethos is to create community, a sense of belonging and family, and recognises that transformation comes about when communities work together and support each other.

Families have been supported through crisis, children have found a place where they feel safe, make friends and learn skills and Bootle is a better place as a result of their work.

The 2024 Pride Of Sefton Awards saw 13 categories on the night at The Grand in Southport, with incredible stories behind all the finalists. 

There were over 1,300 nominations for community figures from Southport, Bootle, Crosby, Formby, Maghull and across Sefton. 

The Grand Pride Of Sefton Awards were organised by Mikhail Hotel and Leisure Group and Stand Up For Southport in association with media partners In Demand Radio

The night was hosted by In Demand Radio presenter Claire Simmo, with entertainment from Whitney Houston tribute performer Michelle Lawson, soul singer Dave Broe and DJ Baz Todd. 

As Sefton celebrates its 50th birthday, VIP guests attending the awards included Sefton Council Leader Cllr Marion Atkinson; Mayor of Sefton Cllr June Burns; and council Chief Executive Phil Porter. 

Also enjoying the evening were boxing world title challenger Martin Murray and Liverpool FC legend Gary Gillespie. 

Pictures on the night were taken by Kevin Brown Photography with videography by Zack Downey from ZED Productions

Fundraising took place on the night with proceeds going to ICU Steps, the intensive care patient support charity. 



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