Foster carers recognised for efforts at castle ceremony

The Northumberland Fostering Awards 2015 took place at Alnwick Castle.
The Northumberland Fostering Awards 2015 took place at Alnwick Castle.

A north Northumberland woman received special praise during a celebratory event to honour the work of foster carers in the county.

Joanne Lowery, from Wooler, was one of six people to be honoured with a personal acknowledgement of her efforts at The Northumberland Fostering Awards 2105.

Joanne Lowery and the Duchess of Northumberland.

Joanne Lowery and the Duchess of Northumberland.

The event was staged at Alnwick Castle last Thursday and was organised by Northumberland County Council’s family placement service.

It coincided with The National Awareness Campaign, Foster Care Fortnight, which started at the beginning of the month and runs until Sunday.

Foster carers from around the county gathered at the castle to receive awards from children in their care for the extraordinary work they do to support the child/young person.

There were also awards for achievements in training and long service.

The event was led by young people who were or are currently living in foster carer.

More than 55 nominations were sent in by children and supporting workers and the looked-after children’s group, Future Route, chose six of the nominees to receive special acknowledgement and a gift on the day. Joanne was one of these and said afterwards: “I felt really proud. It was a lovely day and it was nice to be acknowledged.”

The others to receive this special praise included Paul and Nora McKale, from Morpeth, who described the honour as unexpected and rewarding.

Ruth Bartlett and Diane Clark, from Tynedale, and Ann Fuller, from Blyth, were also honoured in the same way.

The Duchess of Northumberland presented gifts to these six people.

All of the nominees will receive a My Carer is Mint certificate and a thank-you letter from the county council’s executive director for wellbeing and community health services.

The Duchess said: “It is a great privilege to celebrate Foster Care Fortnight with Northumberland foster carers. I am very aware of the care and work they do to offer the very best care to some of our county’s most vulnerable children and young people; they are to be congratulated.”

The Duchess also presented an award to Tynedale foster carer Joan Hodgson for almost 30 years of service as a Northumberland foster carer.

Foster carers were able to find out more about the different services and training available to further support them in their valued role as a foster carer.

An information event is being staged at the Salvation Army, Hartford Road West, Bedlington, on Tuesday for anyone wanting to find out more about fostering. For more details, visit fostering.northum