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Trust Fostering STARS recognised by Doncaster Children’s Services Trust
Trust Fostering carers have been recognised for their contributions to children and young people’s lives at the annual Doncaster Children’s Services Trust STAR Awards last week.
The awards, which are run by the Trust to recognise the dedication and commitment of staff, partner organisations and foster carers, had over 170 nominations with around 40 individuals and teams making it to the final.
Taking the title for the ‘making a difference’ award was Ann Boyd, who with her husband Martin, has helped numerous children move on to adoptive placements by providing them with an incredibly nurturing, loving and caring home.
Speaking about being nominated and receiving the award, foster carer of six years, Ann said: “It was a complete surprise [being nominated] and absolutely lovely. I only foster babies, and have them usually for around the first year of their life.”
“What’s really satisfying is the feeling that you know that you’re doing something really important and laying the foundations for what comes next, for when they move on to a permanent home.”
Narrowly missing out on the award was Alison Hilton, who was commended for her dedication to the children who she has supported and provided a stable home for, for the past seven years.
Susan and George Hughes, foster carers with the trust for nine years, were up for ‘partner or carer of the year’, but sadly pipped to the post by local Police Officer Rachel, who works with the Trust’s EPIC service.
Still stars in the eyes of Trust Fostering, Susan said: “I wanted to provide love, support and family to children and I do try to keep in touch with those who we have fostered, who go on to adoption. It’s nice to see them blossom into happy, healthy kids... and to see they’ve got their happy ever after.”
Nominator, Kay Cooper, the couple’s supervising social worker said: “Susan and George go over and above the expectations of them as foster carers. They have a very child-centred home environment where children thrive; they’ve cared for around 22 children and do so without asking for anything. They’re a pleasure to work with and what fostering is all about.”
Trust Fostering’s pioneering Mockingbird team were thrilled to be named as ‘team of the year’ for their work with children, young people and families. The team are, unusually, made up of a mix of Trust staff and foster carers.
Through Mockingbird the Trust aim to improve foster care by offering foster families a support network made up of other carers, based around a hub home. Carers are invited to get together like an extended family, have a break, with the children and young people allowed sleepovers at the hub home, and have a shoulder to lean on in that of the specially trained Hub Carer.
Speaking of the win, Mockingbird Project Manager Vickie Oldroyd said: “I was quite shocked to be nominated for the award; we’re very different in being made up of Trust staff, foster carers and foster families.”
“We see ourselves as one big family, which what a successful team is really. We support one another, bounce off each other and work well together to improve the lives of our foster families.”
Mockingbird Hub Carer Trevor said: “Being the newest Hub Carers, it’s been great to be accepted into the Mockingbird family and to receive the tremendous support that we do from the other Hub Carers with the Trust. There is a real team ethic; together we all achieve more.”
And finally named runner up in the ‘improving people’s lives’ award was Janice Jinks, one of the Trust Fostering Mockingbird Hub Carers, who was nominated down to her can do attitude and lust for life by colleague and Mockingbird Hub Carer herself, Tracey Sinnott.
In her nomination Tracey praised Janice’s warmth and knowledge saying: “I would say that Janice has changed my life; she is always the brightest shining star in the sky, no matter what she has going on she will always put everything aside and put other people first.”
“I nominated Janice for this award because I wanted to thank her from the bottom of my heart for everything she does for me; I’m so pleased to have Janice in my life.”
The dedication and commitment shown by all foster carers nominated in the Trust STAR Awards didn’t go unnoticed, with Trust Chief Executive Paul Moffat saying: “I massively value our foster carers and that’s why I think it is important that they are included in our staff awards. We can’t give an award to everyone, as much as we would like to, but the individuals and indeed teams who made it to be finalists are incredibly deserving.”
“Having met each of the finalists, and knowing what they do for children and young people in Doncaster, I just have to say I’m so thankful for all of their hard work and proud to have them as a part of our Trust Fostering team.”
Following on from fostering’s success at the Trust STAR awards, the team are on the search for both new foster carers and Mockingbird Hub Carers to help Trust Fostering build on their hard work, improve more children and young people’s lives and bring home even more gongs in 2018.
People from all backgrounds can make great carers, regardless of marital status, sexuality, race or religion. All that is required is at least one spare bedroom, an enthusiastic and passionate attitude and the time and patience for dealing with children and young people.
Find out more about joining the Trust Fostering family by visiting www.trustfostering.co.uk or calling our friendly team on 0808 129 2600
“Volunteers are the best. People don’t understand or realise how much time and effort it takes to make their young person feel safe and trust them.”
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