Foster carers praised for opening their hearts and homes

Residents who give a loving home to vulnerable children were praised for their hard work at an annual glitzy awards ceremony organised by Tower Hamlets Council on 7 December at the Atrium Shoreditch.

Hundreds of people attended the 2018 Foster Carers’ Awards Ceremony, which recognised and celebrated the achievements of the borough’s foster carers.

Three couples: Helimun Nessa and Shafique Miah; Saleha Akhtar and Shofique Uddin and Ernestine John received long service awards after notching up more than 60 years of foster care between them.

Eight awards were also given to carers in the category of ‘Outstanding contribution to bring about positive outcomes in a child’s life.’ Those awarded have supported some of the council’s most vulnerable children and have significantly helped children to succeed and feel good about themselves.

Afia Choudhury, a foster carer who has looked after almost 30 children over the past decade was presented with flowers and a watch by Tower Hamlets Mayor, John Biggs, as a special recognition of The Fostering Network’s prestigious President’s Award she received in October.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets said: “I would like to thank all of our foster carers who do an amazing job and I am proud so many residents have opened their homes to help these young people.”

Councillor Danny Hassell, Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Young People added: “I hope our fabulous foster carers have inspired people to come forward and think about becoming a foster carer as we are always looking for new faces.”

Afia Choudhury along with her husband Kamruz and their four sons, is currently caring for a group of three children who have lived with them for the last seven years. The couple have extended their home so the children can remain living with them until they become adults.

Alongside the love, care and commitment she shows to the three siblings and all the other children she has fostered, Afia is the chair of Tower Hamlets Foster Carers’ Association and offers vital peer support to other foster families – over the last year Afia had over 400 calls with other carers. She is also involved in the recruitment of new foster carers locally and nationally.

Afia said: “This has been such a fantastic year and to be given this latest token of appreciation by the council has been a lovely end to 2018. I love what I do and to be acknowledged in this way is very touching. I hope more families will be encouraged to become foster carers and see for themselves how rewarding it is to help young people regain their confidence.”

To find out more about fostering with Tower Hamlets visit fosteringandadoption.co.uk or contact the fostering team on 0800 279 9850.

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