Tonight (Thursday 18th November 2021) Aberlour Children’s Charity foster carers, Rhonda and Gordon Milne, and Calum Muir (13) won prestigious awards at the UK’s leading annual foster care awards, The Fostering Excellence Awards.
Rhonda and Gordon won the prestigious Jon and Kathy Broadbent award. This award recognises the outstanding work of a foster carer who specialises in fostering children and young people with learning disabilities.
Rhonda and Gordon began fostering with Aberlour in 2017 and became the permanent foster carers of their first foster child who has significant learning difficulties.
Rhonda left her job so that the couple could provide their foster child with the necessary attention he requires. The couple also committed themselves to their child’s care working alongside the appropriate bodies to help him develop his communication and independence.
They even took the young person into consideration as they planned their new home, creating a space that will accommodate him when he is older.
On winning the award Rhonda said: “We are all over the moon to win this award. Fostering a child with learning difficulties has given us a whole new outlook and has been extremely rewarding. Everything we have done is to make sure our child is happy, safe and thriving. We wouldn’t have it any other way and would encourage others thinking about fostering a child with learning difficulties to do it.”
On top of this, 13-year-old, Calum won the Outstanding Contribution by Sons and Daughters Award. This award celebrates a son, daughter or sibling group who have gone the extra mile to support their parents or children and young people in foster care with their family.
Calum’s parents, Lynda and Joe Muir, have been fostering with Aberlour since their foster son joined their family six years’ ago when Calum was just seven. To Calum fostering is not just about sharing his toys, his computer and games, or showing his foster brother how to play them, it’s also about being a role model. Calum knows that his brother is learning from him, which he enjoys a lot.
Asked why he thinks fostering is important, Calum said: “I find it hard to believe and very sad that there are thousands of children living without their own families. Every child in the world deserves to live with a family and if it means they can’t stay with their own for whatever reason, then they should all be given a family like ours to share all that we have. It doesn’t make any difference to me sharing my home but I know it must make such a difference to them knowing that people care.”
Kevin Williams, Chief Executive of The Fostering Network, said: “I’d like to congratulate Rhonda, Gordon and Calum on winning their awards.
“It is truly inspiring to see so many exceptional people achieving so much. It is a privilege to be able to celebrate and raise awareness of those achievements with our annual awards. I hope the awards are able to give people outside of the fostering community an appreciation of the vital role fostering plays in our society.
“All our winners, and everyone else involved in fostering in the UK, should be incredibly proud of their contributions to foster care. Every single day they are striving to improve the lives of children and young people in foster care.”
Nicola Fearon, Head of Fostering at Aberlour, said: “We are so proud of our foster carers and their families. Rhonda, Gordon and Calum have gone above and beyond to make sure their new family member is safe, happy and loved, ensuring they can thrive. Fostering involves the whole family and we are thrilled that Rhonda, Gordon and Calum’s efforts have been recognised not only by us but by the fostering community. They all thoroughly deserve their awards.”
Aberlour is one is of the largest Scottish children’s charities and helps to improve the lives of Scotland’s struggling children and young people. Aberlour provides a wide range of services including fostering across the country. Find out more about fostering with Aberlour.