[Y]esterday (Monday, November 27) we recognised the hard work and dedication of 12 of our long serving foster carers in South Cumbria, at an awards ceremony at Furness College in Barrow.
Between them the foster carers, who have devoted between five and 30 years to fostering, have given a remarkable total of 160 years of care to children in the south of the county.
During the event, the foster carers honoured at our annual Long Service Awards (South), were presented with gifts and a certificate by the Director of Children’s Services John Macilwraith and Cllr Anne Burns, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, before enjoying lunch with members of the Children’s Services team.
Foster carers Linda and Fred Lovidge of Barrow, who received an award for 30 years of service at yesterday’s event, said: “We have always loved children and can honestly say the past 30 years has flown by but has given us lots of happy memories. We still have contact with lots of the children we’ve fostered, including the first little boy we cared for, who’s in his 40s now!
“It is lovely to receive an accolade like this but the biggest reward for us is seeing a child smile again after going through some very difficult times; it gives us such a deep sense of satisfaction.”
Director of Children’s Services, John Macilwraith, said: “At the awards we recognised the contribution of foster carers in South Cumbria who’ve been opening their homes and hearts to some of our most vulnerable children and young people for a combined total of 160 years.
“In that time they have offered invaluable support to hundreds of children and it was very important to me to take the time to thank them personally for all their hard work.
“I have nothing but admiration for the way in which our dedicated team of foster carers provide youngsters with the security and love that, for whatever reason, is missing from their lives. Like Fred and Linda, they often establish connections that last a lifetime, such is the level of commitment that they have to their role, and they are to be commended for everything they do.”
Foster carers honoured at the event were:
Five year awards:
Jenny and Ian Cole
Ros and Jonny Harrison
Cath and Chris Palmen
10 year awards:
Jane and Jeff Halshaw
Georgina and Martin Sherwood
Ruth and Barry Waite
15 years awards:
Arthur and Jean Leonard
20 years award:
Vanda and Les Brown
30 years awards:
Linda and Fred Lovidge
Kath and Dave Craig
For more information about fostering with Cumbria County Council visit www.cumbria.gov.uk/fostering