Long-serving Bradford foster carers recognised

Many of Bradford’s longest serving foster carers were recognised for their dedication to supporting children throughout the district.

The celebration event this year was held on Thursday 30th November at The Aagrah Midpoint in Thornbury, Bradford.

Over 150 carers and other guests heard from a series of speakers during the daytime event, which was also attended by the Lord Mayor, Councillor Gerry Barker and the portfolio holder for children and families, Councillor Sue Duffy.

The long-established annual event, organised by the Foster for Bradford team, recognises long service among the district’s foster families, who, between them, have provided 900 years of foster care to some of the district’s most vulnerable babies, children and young people.

43 families were recognised for their long service as foster carers, including:

Charles and Carole Holt

Bradford husband and wife Charles and Carole Holt, who have fostered children in Bradford for more than 40 years, caring for more than 100 children in wide-ranging circumstances, including overnight emergency placements. Charles and Carole have recently moved to the East coast, where they now provide planned short breaks care.

Charlie and Carole receiving their award
Mr and Mrs Suleman

Keighley residents Mr and Mrs Suleman have been foster carers in Keighley for over 35 years, caring for over 70 children, including siblings and babies. Alongside raising their own family, the Sulemans have looked after children from diverse backgrounds and continue to look after babies.

Fatima Gora and Sagheer Hussain

Shipley residents Fatima Gora and Sagheer Hussain, who have cared for children from different backgrounds, ethnicities and religions for 20 years, providing opportunities and support to go to university and maintaining contact with children as they became adults.

Fatima and Sagheer receiving their award

Karen Myers and Gary Sutcliffe

Ilkley couple Karen Myers and Gary Sutcliffe, who have been foster carers for 15 years, caring for 25 children during that time. They currently foster two teenagers aged 18 and 15.

Karen and Gary receiving their award

Level 3 achievements celebrated

13 foster carers who had achieved their NCFE Level 3 Diploma in Children & Young People’s Workforce (Social Care) in 2023 were also invited to receive their diplomas from Alison Walsh, managing director of Norton Webb Ltd.

Guest speakers at the event were:

  • Rashid Karolia, who was raised by his widowed father after moving to the UK in the 1960s. Rashid shared his moving story of surviving life in and out of the Bradford care system in the 1960s and 70s and how this shaped his life and career. He recently retired after a 40 year career as a social worker in Bradford.
  • Mike Davies, MBE, CEO of The Principle Trust Children’s Charity which provides respite breaks to children who are underprivileged, disadvantaged, disabled, have life-limiting conditions, or who have experienced poverty, trauma or abuse. The Principle Trust Children’s Charity continue to provide holidays for Bradford foster families.
  • Ruth Terry, Executive Director of Bradford Children & Families Trust, opened the awards and welcomed Bradford’s foster families to the celebration.

“Every child deserves to have a safe, secure, and stable environment to be happy, healthy and achieve their full potential in life. We are indebted to our foster carers for providing a safe haven to our most vulnerable children and young people.”

“If you’ve ever considered fostering, then now is the right to come forward and make a real difference to the lives of children and young people from our community. We need 45 new fostering families every year to ensure that children are able to stay in Bradford.”

Kim Bray, Foster for Bradford Service Manager

If you would like more information about fostering, please contact us today

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