Local couple scoop top national fostering award

A local couple have won a prestigious ‘Fostering Excellence Award’ for their hard work, dedication, and excellent contribution to fostering in the county borough.

Pete and Becky Walsh, who have been looking after children as part of the Foster Wales Bridgend team for 16 years, won the ‘Jon and Kathy Broad – Special Recognition Award’ at the Fostering Network’s annual awards ceremony, held at Birmingham’s Repertory Theatre on Thursday 10 November.

The couple were nominated by their Supervising Social Worker at Foster Wales Bridgend, Bernadette Guy, who said: “Peter and Becky are exceptional foster carers who always remain focused on what is best for the children in their care. The couple are currently caring for a child with complex health needs, which often involves attending hospital appointments up to one hundred miles from home.

“Becky and Peter take this in their stride and consistently go above and beyond to meet the child’s needs.”

“On top of this, Becky also takes time to support other carers and is very well respected in her service. What makes them stand out is their can-do attitude and that they celebrate every achievement.”

The council’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Jane Gebbie said: “I would like to congratulate Pete and Becky on their thoroughly well-deserved ‘Fostering Excellence Award.’

“I am delighted that this inspirational couple have been recognised for their hard work, dedication, and commitment to the children they look after.

“It’s very important to show our appreciation and thanks to foster carers for their vital contribution in making a difference to the lives of children in Bridgend County Borough, and awards like these highlights how much their service is valued and what an excellent job they do.”

Pete and Becky, who received the award said: “We are extremely humbled to have even been nominated for an award, let alone win one. We don’t see ourselves as anything different to any other parent or carer out there, we love all our children dearly and strive to do our best by them all.

“We are very aware that due to nature of the needs, and the level of medical complexities that we deal with, it requires a lot of plates to be balanced at once and that can get exhausting at times… but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Every day there’s an achievement, a glimmer of hope for a new milestone, a smile that melts you or a determined young person that won’t give up and that alone gives us the strength to keep doing what we do.

“We’ve been blessed with a very supportive family network and professionals that are there every step of the way with us.

“We’d like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to our children who have sacrificed so much themselves, they never complain about missing out on their own experiences when their family is separated due to hospital stays. They often have to adapt with little to no notice when circumstances change at the drop of a hat. We are so proud of how caring, thoughtful, and inclusive you all are, and we wouldn’t be able to give the level of care we do, without you. Thank you.”

The Fostering Network is the leading fostering charity in the UK, and their Fostering Excellence Awards are the UK’s most prestigious foster care awards.

The awards celebrate excellence and outstanding achievement in fostering and recognise those who make exceptional contributions to foster care every year.

Across the UK, more foster carers are needed. Foster carers come from all walks of life and backgrounds and are crucial in building better futures for children.

Please visit the Foster Wales Bridgend website to find out more about fostering for your local authority.