A young woman who spent her entire childhood in foster care and went on to obtain a first class degree says “anything is possible if you set your mind to it”.

Danielle Morris was just four months old when she was placed with a foster family in Waltham Forest and would go on to live with several other families and her aunt before heading to university.

The 22-year-old was awarded a first class business degree from Brunel University before securing a job with Barnet Virtual School, who ensure that education is put in place for their children in care

Ms Morris was one of 11 young adults who grew up in care to receive awards from Waltham Forest Council celebrating their achievements this week.

“I want other young people in care to know anything is possible if you set your mind to it and if you set aside enough time for your goals,” she said.

“You will have to give up certain things and keep your focus.

“Just because society thinks children in care do not necessarily do well, does not mean that has to happen to you.

“When I was younger I felt like I was not like other kids and it took me a while to come to terms with that.

“My aunt who looked after me for seven years was the only person in my family who had been to university. She offered me stability and I know I was going to go and there was no stopping me.”

Children and young people were nominated for awards by their foster carers and social workers with more than 100 receiving recognition from the council.

Factors included attendance at school, attitudes to learning, improved behaviour and GCSE results.

One 12-year-old boy was praised for settling into his new secondary school and getting top grades in all subjects while another boy, 15, was awarded for becoming head boy at his school.

Cllr Grace Williams, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said: “We are fully committed as a council to ensuring children who grew up in care get all the support they need to ensure they have good life chances.”

Cllr Williams has also asked Waltham Forest councillors to pledge their support to children in care and care leavers.

Council Leader Clare Coghill has already promised to “raise the profile of our children in care” while Cllr Richard Sweden has pledged to “talk to businesses about opportunities for care leavers.”