Doncaster foster carer awarded MBE for services to fostering

Providing foster care with his wife Eileen for over forty years, local foster carer Ian Lindley has been recognised for his dedication and commitment to looked after children in Doncaster, receiving an MBE at Buckingham Palace this month.

Both Ian and Eileen foster with Trust Fostering, the fostering service provided by Doncaster Children’s Services Trust, giving a loving and caring home to children who cannot live with their birth families, including those who have fled to the UK from overseas.

Speaking about receiving the MBE Ian said: “I feel incredibly honoured and proud to have been awarded the MBE. Of course I haven’t achieved this alone and my wife Eileen deserves half of the award too!”

“Eileen was the one who got us in to fostering and between us we have spent over forty years caring for some of the most disadvantaged children in Doncaster. Fostering comes with great challenges, but the rewards of giving that loving and caring home to a child in need are second to none.”

The pair, who are in their seventies, have dedicated last decade caring for children who have either fled to Doncaster from areas of international conflict or have been trafficked to the UK to be exploited.

A challenge not easily dealt with, Eileen said: “We’ve been looking after children from overseas for the last ten years and although it has been tough, it has been the most worthwhile thing we could do.”

“Supporting young people through trauma and to overcome and deal with the horrific circumstances they have been subject to is a very worthy cause and one we are keen to carry on doing so for as long as the young people need us.”

The award is given by the Queen to an individual for outstanding service to the community or local 'hands on' service. Ian was nominated by numerous members of the community including the fostering team at the Trust for his hard work.

Doncaster Children’s Services Trust Chief Executive, Paul Moffat said: “Our foster carers are an amazing bunch; for Ian and Eileen to have devoted their lives to fostering in the way they have is simply inspiring. Taking on the challenge of caring for young people who have been through the worst in life; often fleeing conflict or being trafficked and exploited is an incredibly tough job.”

“The dedication both Ian and Eileen have shown is incredible, they’ve helped to change young people’s lives and show compassion and care for those most in need. I’m so pleased for Ian to have received the honour; we’ll have to make sure that next year Eileen is in line for a medal too!”

Providing words of inspiration for potential new foster carers, Ian said: “If you’re thinking about becoming a foster carer contact the Trust. Patience, care and compassion can go an awfully long way to a child in care and the seemingly simple things can make a big difference to their lives. We’re proud to have helped and supported children from across Doncaster and who have come from overseas and will happily carry on as long as we can.”

Eileen added: “Life experience and a little knowledge of what does and doesn’t work with children and young people can go a long way. If you have the passion to change a young person’s life then certainly contact the Trust and find out how you can get involved.”

People from all backgrounds can make great carers. You can apply regardless of your marital status, sexuality, race or religion. Many of the children have been through difficult times, so carers need to be great listeners and have plenty of patience.

If you think you have what it takes then speak to the friendly Trust Fostering team. Call on 0808 129 2600, drop in to the Blue Building, Doncaster High Street, DN1 1DE or visit our website to find out more:

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