Foster carers with more than 500 years of fostering between them have been recognised at a special awards ceremony.
The annual event is organised by Manchester City Council to shine a light on the hard work and commitment shown by foster carers, and to say thank you to them for being there for the city’s most vulnerable children and young people.
The ceremony saw long service awards given out to over 60 foster carers who have each been looking after young people for more than five years.
Amongst these was one of the city’s longest serving foster carers – who has clocked up an amazing forty years of providing love, help, and support to local children and young people.
As well as awards for long service a number of special awards for individual foster carers were also given out on the night.
These included the Martin Shaw Award for Fostering Good Relations, which is the annual awards’ highest accolade.
It is presented in memory of Martin Shaw who was a social worker in the city for more than 19 years before he passed away suddenly in 2011. A special award has been made to foster carers in his name every year since then.
Winners of the award this year were Patricia and Keith Hoy.
Patricia had many years’ experience working with children with special needs at a Manchester school, before becoming a foster carer fourteen years ago.
Since then, she has used her extensive experience and skills, alongside husband Keith, to provide fostering care and support for children and young people who have special needs.
Their home has been adapted to create a special environment for children who have special needs, and the couple have been applauded for ensuring that every child placed with them is always cared for with the greatest respect and very individual highest standards of care.
Patricia Hoy said: “Fostering is part of our life, it’s what we do. It isn’t always easy, but the reward we get knowing we’re helping make a real difference to a child’s life, makes it all worthwhile.”
Councillor Garry Bridges, Executive Member for Children’s Services, Manchester City Council, said: “Our foster carers show amazing commitment and dedication to their roles in the lives of the city’s most vulnerable children and young people.
“They are the backbone of the support we provide to these young people, and we couldn’t do this without them.”
To find out more about becoming a foster carer for Manchester go to manchester.gov.uk/fostering