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Julie is MBE-vellous!

A LIVERPOOL City Council worker who has helped hundreds of children and young people have a voice has finally received her MBE.

Children’s rights and participation manager Julie Cashin was presented with her honour by Mark Blundell, Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside, at a ceremony at Liverpool Town Hall on Friday, 5 November, along with nine other honour recipients.

Julie turned down the chance of attending a ceremony at Buckingham Place next summer so her father, 82-year-old Bobby, who has been unwell since having Covid, could attend. Julie was also accompanied by her husband Paul and her three sons, Alan, Steven and Paul.

But Julie will still get a chance to visit Buckingham Palace when she attends one of the famous garden parties in June, when she will be accompanied by some of the young people she was helped into employment.

Julie’s MBE was part of the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours list, announced in October 2020 due to the pandemic, and she was recognised for her work advocating for children in Liverpool, in particular looked-after children and care leavers.

She initially took a phone call asking her if she would accept the honour in March 2020, whilst standing in a queue outside Sainsbury’s at the start of the first lockdown – but thought she was being pranked by one of her sons! She only realised the offer was genuine when she got home and checked her emails.

Julie’s career with children began in 2001 when she ran a play scheme in Everton and she joined the council’s fostering team in 2005.

As part of her work Julie has also been instrumental in setting up Liverpool’s Children in Care Council and created the Children’s Scrutiny Panel to make sure that children’s voices are heard at the highest level.

Julie said:

“The ceremony was great and I was thrilled my dad was able to make it. I loved every minute of it and it’s something that will never come around again.

“It’s a wonderful honour and also a real testament to the fantastic young people I have worked with over the years.

“For me, it is so important that we not only listen to the children of our city but we act on what they say and thankfully the council and all the other partners that work with children in care believe in this ethos as well.

“There is nothing better for me than seeing a child who has come into the system, frightened, lacking in confidence and not trusting adults, go out the other side and go on to lead a happy and fulfilling life, that’s the real honour.

“Every child I come across has potential. And every child needs someone fighting their corner.”