New Year's Honours List 2020: Wakefield foster carer awarded MBE
A foster carer who has looked after more than 60 children in over 18 years is to be awarded an MBE in this year's New Year's Honours List.
Angela Wright, from Wakefield, provides short-term foster to help as many children as possible.
To ensure other children are receiving the best care possible Angela, 55, offers advice and support to other carers and is the voice of fostering on a local radio station.
Sacrificing full time employment to become a full-time foster carer, she provides activities each weekend for whoever is in her care including swimming, going to the beach, painting, visits to the zoo and baking.
She said: “I am honoured and humbled. It is a tribute to all the foster carers in Wakefield. It is all of us, not just me. They sacrifice so much. It is a hard job, with the emotional side. When a child first comes there is always a bit of apprehension.
“You wonder who you open the door to but the children are so lovely - it is just about dealing with the situation they’re in.
“And they’re some of the most gorgeous children you can meet. They just want a bit of stability and that’s what we try to do.
“They all seem to leave happy. “We often stay in touch because we have been doing this for so long.
“Sometimes they come with just the clothes they are wearing - no manners, no eating with a knife and fork but we hope they leave feeling better.”
Angela and her husband Stuart can look after children for just a couple of days or up to two years. She said it can be difficult when it is time for children to move on to other homes.
“When they leave it is hard because they get attached and we do as well. But it’s in your head you know they are going to something better, a new home or long term carer, and the carers they go to are all lovely people,” she said.
“You have a few days off, sort yourself out and wait for the next one to come in.”
She helps with reading and writing to for children who struggle.
An important part of her role is to leave a lasting effect by making a child feel loved and at home.
“Children find themselves with foster parents through no fault of their own,” she said.
“Often they have been caught in crossfire and it is important for them to know they’ve done nothing wrong.”
Children who have been in her care have since strived to achieve excellence and reach their potential, another child showed an interest in becoming a mechanic.
She motivated and supported him, taking him to several garages to apply for jobs, assisting him in presenting himself and helping him secure a starting position.
He is now a full time mechanic and accredits his success to her efforts.
And Angela thanked the people who nominated her for the award – her husband, supervising social worker, and two former foster children Milisa Hammell and Camron Woodcock who are now in their 20s.