Celebrating fantastic Foster Carers’ commitment to children

The tireless enthusiasm and energy of Somerset County Council foster carers in helping turn children’s lives around has been celebrated at an awards event.

Frances Nicholson, Sandra and Denis Green, Julian Wooster

Over 120 foster carers attended the authority’s annual awards ceremony on Friday 15 April, supported by social workers, the Cabinet Member for Children and Families, Frances Nicholson, and Julian Wooster, Somerset County Council’s Director of Children’s Services. Four fostering households were presented with long service awards for their commitment to Somerset children.

Of those, Denis and Sandra Green, from the Wells area, were commended for their decades-long service, after a fantastic 25-year fostering career.

Denis said: “I can’t believe that we’ve achieved this. For us it started when our own children were age eight or nine – Sandra herself was one of nine children – and we just wanted to see what we could do. We couldn’t have dreamed we would still be fostering 25 years later.”

Julian Wooster, George and Kathy Hedger, Frances Nicholson

While George and Kathy Hedger were applauded for their 15-year career as Short Break Carers. “I think if people are considering whether to foster, they should just give it a go,” said Kathy, as George added: “It’s been very nice to receive our award, very good.”

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families at Somerset County Council, said: “We owe the individuals and families who foster our children a real debt of gratitude, and I’m so glad so many of them were able to enjoy Friday’s celebration.

“Around 500 children are currently looked after in Somerset. Around three-quarters of them need caring for by foster carers, to help them through tough times, through periods of upheaval or crisis, or to support families to help them stay together.

“My heartfelt thanks to everyone who fosters for Somerset. We urgently need more people with the same determination and enthusiasm to be there for our children.”

Whatever your circumstances, sexuality, gender, ethnicity or income, it’s what you have to offer a child we care about most.

In Somerset, we are keen to hear from:

  • People who would consider fostering older children or young people
  • People who could foster brothers and sisters
  • People who can care for children with disabilities
  • People with the space in their lives to help a troubled teenager experiencing tough times.

A Costa Coffee evening on two specialist schemes – Stepping Stones for teenagers who need mentoring to independence, and Short Break Care for children with disabilities – is being held in Yeovil on Monday 25 April 2016, 7pm-9pm. Phone 0800 587 9900 to book your place today.

Downloadable, captioned images from the event are available on Flickr atwww.flickr.com/photos/somersetcountycouncil/ or attached below.

A short video of Frances Nicholson’s speech and award-giving at the Annual Foster Carers Awards ceremony can be viewed here:

To find out more about fostering for Somerset, visit www.fosteradoptsomerset.org.uk or phone 0800 587 9900.

Notes to Editors

This year’s event took place on Friday 15 April at Crossways in North Wootton.

The above photos show:

  • Foster Carers Sandra and Denis Green, from the Wells area, with their awards to mark their 25-year fostering career, pictured with Frances Nicholson and Julian Wooster.
  • Long service award winners George and Kathy Hedger from Yeovil, pictured with Somerset County Council’s Director of Children’s Services, Julian Wooster, and Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families. George and Kathy are in their 16th year as Short Break Carers.