Michael Palin praises ‘humane and caring’ borough at Foster Carers Awards

The fantastic work of our longest-serving foster carers was celebrated at a special awards ceremony in Camden on Friday 29 September, attended by Monty Python legend, author and TV presenter Michael Palin.

Presenting awards to some of Camden’s longest-serving foster carers, Mr Palin, who is also a local resident, said: “Camden has the feeling of being a humane and caring borough, where people look after each other. So I am delighted to give my support here for foster carers.”

Other VIP guests at the annual event included EastEnders actor John Partridge (Christian Clarke in the BBC soap), who presented raffle prizes and spoke of his admiration for foster carers, his friend and Hollyoaks actor Natalie Casey and the Mayor of Camden, Councillor Richard Cotton.

But it was 19-year-old Rae Mortimer who stole the show as she gave a passionate and moving account of her experience of growing up in a fostering household and the important role birth children can play in supporting foster children.

Rae, who is a spoken-word artist, writer and actor, said: “No-one can understand dedication until you have dedicated yourself and your home to someone. How blessed I am to love those who need love the most.”

The awards recognised and rewarded foster carers for their dedicated long service of between five and 20 years – with a special ‘lifetime achievement award’ going to John and Moira Doneo, who have been fostering Camden children for well over 50 years.

Councillor Angela Mason CBE, Cabinet Member for Best Start in Life
These awards 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 to provide a secure and loving home for children. All of the foster carers honoured at this event deserve our praise and admiration for their hard work, ethusiasm and commitment and I was proud to be there to celebrate their fantastic contribution to children’s lives.
Councillor Angela Mason CBE, Cabinet Member for Best Start in Life

Musical entertainment on the night was provided by soul singer Raff, who has performed alongside the likes of Lily Allen and Ed Sheeran, while talented illustrator Sara-Louise Harper delighted guests by drawing caricatures of them.

Local businesses generously donated free restaurant meals, cinema tickets and gift vouchers to other Camden foster carers who attended.