After caring for nearly 100 children for the past 30 years, the couple have decided to retire.
To mark the occasion and to say thanks, they were invited to have afternoon tea with the Mayor of Havering, Councillor Dilip Patel.
The couple said:
“It is a really sad time for us. We have loved being foster carers and after 30 years it wasn’t an easy decision for us to make.
“We have never asked for much but hope we have given a good service to Havering. During our time we have looked after approximately 98 children, with one staying 11 years and the last young person staying 14 years. We’ll miss having the children but feel the time is right to retire.”
“This Christmas will be different – and very quiet. Our last foster child stayed with us for 14 years and we would still receive visits and keep in touch with many of children.”
The couple’s son lives next door, so he said they would still be busy with their grandchildren.
Brenda and Gordon, now 72 and 75 respectively, decided to become foster carers after Brenda attended a meeting about fostering.
Over the years they have helped to prepare a number of children for adoption and even adopted one young person. One of their last two placements was a brother and sister in March 2003. The pair stayed until they were 18 and ready to live more independently.
The couple left Havering for Chelmsford 21 years ago, but wanted to remain loyal to the borough, so continued to foster and support children from Havering.
The Mayor of Havering, Councillor Dilip Patel, said:
“We are so grateful that you have given so much time to our children who needed help. Thirty years is a long time and there are not many people who would have done 30 years. I can understand the ups and downs you must have had, but you have made a success of it and we are so grateful for that and we wish you all the best for the future from the mayor’s office.”
Havering has around 250 children who are in need of homes and is currently looking for people who are able to foster.
If you would like to become a foster carer, then find out more https://www.havering.gov.uk/fostering
Our next fostering event takes place on Thursday 6 December between 6pm and 7.30pm at Havering Town Hall, Main Road, Romford RM1 3BB.