A virtual awards ceremony was held to recognise the amazing work of Reading’s foster carers, new and old.

Brighter Futures for Children’s independent fostering agency (IFA) staged the online awards and dinner evening on Tuesday 8 June.

Foster carers were gifted a takeaway dinner of their choice to enjoy during the celebration of their fantastic achievements.

The fostering team were joined by special guests, including Reading’s Executive Director of Children’s Services Deborah Glassbrook, to celebrate foster carers who have been fostering for between five and 25 years, and newer recruits.

Ms Glassbrook said: “It is a vocation for our foster carers to make a lasting and positive impact on children and young people in care from Reading and elsewhere. We are so proud of them all.”

Brighter Futures for Children’s IFA, which is not for profit, also congratulated foster carers who are new to the team and have completed the required training, support and development standards, which is an essential milestone for newly approved foster carers.

Fresh for this year, the IFA introduced a new award for Outstanding Contribution to Foster Care. BFfC IFA staff were asked to nominate foster carers who, they believe, had gone above and beyond to support a child or young person in their care.

Nicola Gilham, Chair of the BFFC IFA committee, who presented the awards on the evening, said afterwards: “The number of nominations received for outstanding contribution demonstrates how respected and valued our foster carers are.

“Congratulations to all the foster carers who received an award. It was wonderful to be able to thank them for the vital role they play in the lives of Reading’s children and young people in care.”

Marjorie Small (pictured above) was one of three foster carers who received the outstanding contribution award. Marjorie has fostered with BFfC for four years and was nominated for her exceptional care of a young boy with complex needs.

The social worker who nominated her said: “Ms Small is a fantastic advocate for the young man in her care, especially when it comes to education.”

Ms Small said: “It was a privilege to receive this award. Every child deserves a loving home, and a forever home. It is always so rewarding to be a foster carer and it is an honour to be recognised for doing a good job. I wouldn’t change it for the world!”

If you would like to learn more about fostering in Reading visit: www.readingfostering.co.uk