Two Tower Hamlets foster carers have been awarded for their ‘outstanding commitment’ to foster children with disabilities.
Gertrude and Keith Tummings, who were nominated out of hundreds of foster carers, were presented with the Outstanding Commitment to Foster Children with Disabilities award at the FosterTalk Foster Carer Awards on 21 October.
Awarded by the council’s Fostering Development team, Tower Hamlets’ winners were chosen for the outstanding care they provide for children with learning difficulties and complex medical needs.
Fostering for 18 years, Gertrude said: “I first gained experience of caring for children with disabilities by working in a special school. I could see that these children were just ordinary people who needed a bit more support.
“It felt like a natural progression to care for children with disabilities. I really enjoy it, every child is different and it is interesting learning how best to help and care for them.”
FosterTalk is a non-profit independent organisation, supporting foster carers from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in financial advice and counselling.
Managing director of FosterTalk, Melody Douglas said: “We work with foster carers on a daily basis and are proud to be able to recognise the positive impact they make on the lives of others through these awards.
“We had hundreds of entries which made it very hard for our judges, but this award for Gertrude and Keith is well deserved.”
Winner, Gertrude said: “Caring for these children is definitely a challenge, especially when they are not well, but when you see the smiles and excitement on their face when they see you, it really makes it so worthwhile.”
Many foster carers were also nominated for the award, in celebration of FosterTalk’s 10th Anniversary. The Awards were presented by Edward Timpson MP and TV Chef Lorraine Pascal, both of whom were fostered as children
Timpson, who grew up with around 90 foster brothers and sisters, said: “As someone from a foster family, I know how vital it is for foster carers to have access to support as and when they need it – from the moment they welcome a new child into their home to the moment they leave.”