Welcome to the Children & Young People Now Awards

Twenty-two inspirational and deserving winners were revealed at the 2016 CYP Now Awards on an evening of celebration for the children's sector.

Essex Social Care Academy collect the Recruitment and Professional Development Award. Picture: Julian Dodd
Mermaids UK, which campaigns to raise awareness and support children with gender identity issues, emerged triumphant as this year's charity of the year.

Other winners included the Essex Social Care Academy for the Recruitment and Professional Development Award; Blackburn with Darwen Youth Justice Service Problem Solving Courts for the Youth Justice Award; Barnardo's for the National FGM Centre in the Safeguarding Award category; and Spurgeons' Invisible Walls project for the Family Support Award.

There was a standing ovation for the recipient of the Children and Young People's Champion Award, Barbara Bennett, a foster carer and respite carer from Surrey for the last 50 years.

The Awards ceremony took place at the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel in central London and was hosted with characteristic verve by TV presenter and entertainer Dave Benson Phillips.

Youth band Croydon Steel Orchestra had the 550-strong audience in raptures at the start of the ceremony with a selection of upbeat tunes including 1970s disco classic Rock the Boat.

CYP Now editor-in-chief Ravi Chandiramani said: "These awards started life 10 years ago this very week in 2006, this is their eleventh staging. We are so proud they have become this wonderful celebration of the very best in achievement, ability and innovation right across the children's sector.

"The entry levels for this year's Awards were as strong as ever and the standard gets better and better each year."

As well as the 22 winners, there were six "high commendations" awarded.

Click here to view more pictures from the night.