Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Award winning Central Bedfordshire foster carers celebrated at BBC Three Counties People Awards

Monday, 14 October 2019

Two local fostering couples have scooped the Gold and Bronze Awards at the BBC Three Counties People Awards - being recognised for the incredible difference they have made

Central Bedfordshire Council’s Fostering Service nominated Pat and Jacquie Albon for an award for the incredible 29 years they have been fostering. In that time, they have looked after an astonishing 129 children of all ages - from babies to teenagers and in more recent months helping young parents learn the skills to care for their own babies and toddlers. They were honoured for their service at an awards ceremony at The Grove Theatre, winning the Gold Foster Carer Award.

Mrs Albon said of winning the Gold Award:

It’s a real honour, it really is and to raise awareness of fostering is great. We’ve looked after over 129 children in 29 years, most of those have been pre-school children but as we’ve got older the children that we’ve fostered have got older as well to some extent. We are now looking after young parents and their babies or young children, which is a short period of assessment to help them be able to parent their children and prevent them coming into care themselves. It’s really lovely, it’s really worthwhile and we’re really enjoying it.

The bronze award went to Beatrice Archibong-Odiong and Francis Odiong, who also foster children supported by the council. Their nominations included one from a young person who was previously in their care, who said:

I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for them. They’ve helped me see things differently and see life in a different perspective. They’ve never given up on me and if wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be sitting my GCSEs.

Mrs Archibong-Odiong was delighted to receive the award and said:

It was a lovely evening. It was an honour and we were pleasantly surprised to be nominated.

Councillor Sue Clark, Central Bedfordshire Council’s Executive Member for Families, Education and Children said:

We are thrilled for both couples and would like to take this opportunity to not only thank them for their dedication, and love and support they provide to children in Central Bedfordshire, but to all of our foster carers. Foster carers look after some of Central Bedfordshire’s most vulnerable young people and make such a positive impact on their lives. We hope their awards and stories inspire more families in and around Bedfordshire to come forward and consider fostering. We would love to hear from anyone interested in fostering and would urge anyone considering it to get in touch with our friendly, dedicated team by calling 0300 300 8181, emailing fostering@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk or registering your interest at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/fostering.