Inspirational stories of Leeds foster carer award winners

Leeds foster carers have been recognised and awarded for the selfless work they do looking after the city’s most vulnerable children, at a special awards ceremony organised by Leeds City Council.

In order to recognise those carers who go the extra mile, Leeds City Council organised the Child Friendly Leeds Foster Carer Awards for people who foster through the council, including kinship foster carers.

The awards were organised as part of the council’s pledge to be a child friendly city, to recognise and reward foster carers who have excelled in one of five areas, as well as celebrating those carers who have been helping the children of Leeds for a number of years.

110 nominations were received in the following categories:

•Supporting you/ a young person in their education
•Supporting you/ a young person to have a healthy lifestyle
•Helping you/ a young person through a time of change
•Supporting you/ a young to develop art/ music skills
•Helping you/ a young person to get through difficult times
•Supporting you / a young person with your family relationships
•Helping to strengthen your/ a young person’s involvement in the local community

The winners were selected by a panel which was made up of senior managers, members, young people and a representative from event sponsor, British Gas. The well deserving winners were presented with prizes, which had been donated by sponsors, by representatives from the council’s children’s services department, young people and council members.

At the ceremony the guests were also entertained by performances from Sebastian Walton, Cllr Roger Harrington, and Devonte.

The winning foster carers for each category were:

Supporting you/ a young person in their education: Anne-Marie & Robert Maw
Summary on why nominated:
They were recognised for being fantastic and extremely committed foster carers to the children in their care long term. During the ceremony guests were told that “Ann-Marie and Robert are a pleasure to work with and highly regarded by all professionals working with them. They are down to earth, warm hearted and very considerate people. They both have an excellent sense of humour and are always so positive about the children and delight in their achievements.”

Supporting you/ a young person to have a healthy lifestyle: Carl & Penny Moore
Summary on why nominated:
They began their fostering career as Short Break carers for disabled children and are now professional foster carers providing long term placements to two children. They were recognised because their dedication to the children has been second to none and have always put the children’s needs first.

Helping you/ a young person through a time of change: Diane & Andrew Nicholls
Summary on why nominated:
They have been fostering for 12 years and have recently become part of the Mockingbird Family Model and have taken on the role as Hub carers. The aims of the Mockingbird Family Model are to increase placement stability, prioritise sibling connections, support permanency and help provide a child with an alternative extended family environment. Diane and Andrew have been enthusiastic, open minded approaching the new scheme with a very positive attitude.

Supporting you/ a young to develop art/ music skills: Karen & Ivan Leach
Summary on why nominated:
Over the years they have provided some excellent support for a number of children. Their nominator stated that ‘Ivan and Karen deserve some credit for the encouragement and support they have given the children to do well’.

Helping you/ a young person to get through difficult times: Rachel Charlton
Summary on why nominated:
Rachel started her fostering career as a supported lodgings provider, providing a home and support for young people who are leaving the care system. Rachel was awarded for her ability to always put in over and above what is expected within her role and how passionate, caring and genuine she is about supporting young people.

Supporting you / a young person with your family relationships: Joan Reason
Summary on why nominated:
Joan is a very well respected foster carer with over thirty years’ experience caring for babies and young children. During the awards it was said that “Joan’s commitment to fostering is simply amazing and she really does put the child first.”

Helping to strengthen your/ a young person’s involvement in the local community: Joan and Jack Philips
Summary on why nominated:
Joan and Jack have fostered for the council since 1995 and have recently moved across to the ‘Staying Put Scheme’ which sees a fostered child staying with their carers to help them transition into adulthood. At the ceremony they were described as ‘warm, caring, funny and a joy to work with’.

Also at this week’s ceremony, people who have fostered through Leeds City Council for many years also received long-service awards including:

30 years
Lyn and Michael Spence

25 years
Mandy Munro
Celina Archibald

20 years
Joan & David Herrington
Kathy Oldham
Lesa & Michael Cosgrove

10 years
Sam & Michael Reilly
Sally Wray
Mandy Pugh
Margaret & Richard Parkin

5 years
Anjula Davidson
Emma-Jane Teal
Vicky & Shane Halpin
Emma & Stuart Mackintosh
Gillian Tatler
Diane & Sean Rushworth
Maria Kelly
Janey Webb
Caroline & Adam Midgley

Retiring after 16 years
Carole & Alan Porter

Retiring after 47 years
Miriam & Victor Bennett MBE

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