London,
18
May
2016
|
13:04
Europe/London

TOWIE meets EastEnders at Camden Foster Carers Awards

The fantastic work of Camden’s longest-serving foster carers was celebrated at a special awards ceremony in Camden on Friday 13 May, attended by former and current cast members of both EastEnders and The Only Way Is Essex.

Stage, film and TV actress Anita Dobson, most famous for her role as Angie Watts in EastEnders, Ellen Thomas, currently playing Claudette in EastEnders, and TOWIE’s Lydia Bright with her mum Debbie Douglas, who has been a foster carer for over two decades, were among the celebrity guests.

Actor Joe Swash, best-known as Mickey Miller in EastEnders and whose mum is also a foster carer, was also there and spoke about his experience of growing up in a fostering household.

A total of 13 awards were presented, recognising and rewarding foster carers for their dedicated long service of between five and 20 years.

Musical entertainment on the night was provided by Raff, who has performed alongside the likes of Lily Allen and Ed Sheeran.

To mark the occasion, local businesses generously donated vouchers to all Camden foster carers, which included free restaurant meals, cinema tickets and a tour of the Arsenal Football Club stadium.

The annual event, part of national Foster Care Fortnight, is not only an opportunity for Camden Council to celebrate our foster carers’ hard work, enthusiasm and commitment, but also to highlight the urgent need for more foster carers to come forward to provide vulnerable children with a stable and secure home.

Anita Dobson said: “I am touched by the hard work and commitment of Camden foster carers. Looking after a child takes real energy and a very warm heart. I was delighted to meet so many foster carers and to take part in this well-deserved celebration. Foster carers really do go above and beyond to give children and young people a safe and secure home, making a big difference to their lives. Foster carers bring a sense of family and inclusion to vulnerable children and their dedication shouldn’t go unnoticed.”

Ellen Thomas said: “I am delighted to be supporting an event that honours Camden’s long-serving foster carers. With Foster Care Fortnight upon us, this event is also a great opportunity to raise awareness of the urgent need for more foster carers across the country to come forward. Foster carers offer children and young people a safe and caring family environment and I think it’s important to reward their commitment.”

Lydia Bright’s mum and foster carer Debbie Douglas said: "I became a foster carer 24 years ago. By chance I met someone who told me she was a foster carer. I can't remember her name, haven't seen her since and she will never know what an influence she had on my life and so many others. I only wish I could thank her. I truly look back and feel enriched by sharing so many children's journeys. I know I have made a difference and there is nothing quite as uplifting as that.”

Joe Swash said: “Growing up in a fostering household has been a real privilege. I have a lot of admiration for the work foster carers do and I’m very happy to be supporting an event that honours Camden’s long-serving foster carers. This Camden event is a great opportunity for us to raise awareness of the urgent need for more foster carers across the country to come forward. ”

Councillor Angela Mason CBE, Cabinet Member for Children
“The awards also give the Council a chance to say thank you to our longest-serving foster carers, as well as highlighting the need for more to come forward. All of the foster carers honoured at this wonderful event deserve our praise and admiration and I am proud to be here to celebrate their fantastic contribution to children’s lives.”
Councillor Angela Mason CBE, Cabinet Member for Children

To find out more about fostering please call 0800 0281 436, email fostering@camden.gov.uk or visit www.camden.gov.uk/fostering

Photo caption: Anita Dobson (right) and Ellen Thomas (left) present Camden foster carers Paul and Jane Head with a 10-year long service award.Photo credit: Jenny-Lee Martins