Shining the spotlight on Harrow’s foster carers

foster, carers, awards, night

The tireless work and achievements of dozens of foster carers were celebrated last night at a sparkling awards evening hosted by Harrow Council.

Fifteen awards were handed out to individuals and couples to thank them for the time they have dedicated to looking after the borough’s vulnerable children.

These included three accolades for 15 years’ service and one – to Brenda and Jan S  - for 20 years’ service.

Recognition was also given to carers who have completed their training and one couple, Marie and Dietmar Thivessen (pictured above), who are retiring from the fostering service after 15 years.

Paul Hewitt, Harrow Council Corporate Director (interim), said: “I was delighted to be a part of this wonderful evening.

“The awards are just one way for us to celebrate our foster carers who have made such a significant difference to the lives of our looked-after children by offering a loving home and security and stability.

“We have also recognised the contribution they make through the launch of our fostering allowance scheme, which enables foster carers to develop enhanced and specialist skills to meet the complex needs of our children.”

Retiring foster carer Marie Thivessen said: “As well as providing a long-term caring, safe, warm and stable environment, we have had to be educators, humourists and advocators. We have approached each new challenge with perseverance, calm and positivity to ensure the best possible outcomes for the young people in our care. 

“We have cherished these rewarding experiences over the last 15 years - and would do it all again if the same opportunities arose in our younger years. We keep in touch with our long-term young people as they are, and always will be, part of our family.’

The annual dinner and dance, held at Apollonia in Stanmore, was attended by many guests, including Harrow Mayor Cllr Margaret Davine.

Anyone interested in fostering can call 0800 064 1000 or email fpuduty@harrow.gov.uk for more information.