One Dunstable couple have proved themselves to be so kind and generous of heart that their own brood of five children was just the beginning of their roles as parents. Since they became foster carers in 1986, Sandra and Tim Thorne estimate that they have looked after more than 150 children. An awards ceremony at Harlington Upper School honoured them for their 25 years of devoted to foster care.
Mrs Thorne says she didn’t quite know what to expect in the beginning: “I was very naive back then – I thought the child was just coming for Christmas dinner! In reality, while some children just stay overnight, we’ve had two leave recently who have been with us for 15 years. It can be hard to say goodbye as you form an attachment to these children, particularly little babies.
“My husband is a farmer, so he used to be out all day while I’d be at home. I wanted to do something useful with my time and I just enjoy looking after children. We had three of our own children then, and now have five, but I still wanted to help.”
She says that the experience has changed their lives, broadening their horizons and taught them not to judge others.16 other foster carers were also honoured by the awards ceremony at the Bedfordshire Fostering Service’s Foster Care Fortnight, including Claudette and Carlton Clarke of Houghton Regis.