Foster carers couple honoured for their outstanding contribution

Holly Willoughby, Janice Jinks, Linda Parrish, Juliet and Charlie Cleverdon, Young ambassador - Zoe Witherington, Patrick Cohen from Endsleigh Insurance who supported the award. Picture Caroline Field
Holly Willoughby, Janice Jinks, Linda Parrish, Juliet and Charlie Cleverdon, Young ambassador - Zoe Witherington, Patrick Cohen from Endsleigh Insurance who supported the award. Picture Caroline Field

Two foster carers who have provided outstanding care have seen their dedication honoured by a national award.

Juliet and Charlie Cleverdon, from Calvert Green, were presented with the Outstanding Contribution by a Foster Carer Award at The Fostering Network’s Fostering Excellence Awards.

The award, supported by Endsleigh Insurance, celebrates their extraordinary contribution to foster care during the last year.

Foster carers, children and young people, and people from throughout the fostering community from across the UK joined Juliet and Charlie in attending the annual celebration of fostering hosted by television star Holly Willoughby, and attended by the Duchess of Cambridge.

Juliet and Charlie have been foster carers for 30 years, fostering more than 30 children, all of whom have had a learning disability and mild physical disability.

Now fostering four children, they also have three care leavers living with them.

Juliet and Charlie also offer advice and support to other foster carers, encouraging new carers to attend support groups, training and other fostering events.

Juliet said: “It’s wonderful to receive this award and attend such a lovely evening. We just love every bit about fostering and I don’t know what we would do without it. That’s the life we have chosen and we would do it all again.”

Charlie said: “We thoroughly enjoyed the evening; it was a very special event for us. Juliet and I support each other to do this, we work as a partnership. We love it and 30 years later, we wouldn’t change a thing.”

Lyn, the couple’s fostering team manager who nominated them for the award, said: “Juliet and Charlie are one in a million, with hearts of gold.”

Lin Hazell, Cabinet Member for Children Services said: “This is fantastic news and I am so pleased to see the good work that Juliet and Charlie have done for us to be recognised. They thoroughly deserve this. Their commitment to fostering has been outstanding.

“We have over 430 children in care in Buckinghamshire and we need more foster carers like Juliet and Charlie. If anyone is interested in fostering I would encourage them to get in touch.”

Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said: “Without the dedication of foster carers, many children would not have the opportunities that they now have. Juliet and Charlie have worked tremendously hard over the past year to ensure that the fostered children of Buckinghamshire know how much they’re cared about by everyone in the fostering community.”

The event was held in London and the award was given to four carers - the other two were Janice Jinks and Linda Parrish.

For more details about fostering contact the First Step Team at www.buckscc.gov.uk/fostering, email firststep@buckscc.gov.uk or call 0800 160 1900.