Big-hearted teenager Adam Howlett got the royal seal of approval from HRH The Duchess of Cambridge when she presented him with an award in recognition of his tireless work caring for fellow youngsters.
The 18-year-old Barnburgh lad, who has been in foster care himself since the age of three, received the fostering achievement award from Kate Middleton at the Fostering Excellence Awards in London last week.
He was recognised for the way he has helped support his foster parents who also look after other children with life threatening conditions.
The ceremony heard how Adam’s foster carer Carol Webster spends a lot of time in children’s hospitals with youngsters who have life threatening conditions and Adam, who himself has learning difficulties, has been a huge help. The youngster was praised for being a friend to the children who enjoy his company. He was nominated for the award by other Doncaster foster carers.
Carol said: “I’m so proud of Adam. He has own challenges in life yet is always there to welcome and be a friend to other children that come into our home.”
The Fostering Network’s second annual celebration event of fostering was hosted by television star, Holly Willoughby. Joining Adam were foster children, carers and young people from across the UK.
The night also saw the limelight shine on Doncaster foster carer Janice Jenkins who was presented with an award for her outstanding contribution to fostering. A hero among fostering community, Janice has been fostering children for over 30 years and has been tirelessly working to ensure foster children don’t miss out. Janice has played a vital role in setting up the Doncaster Foster Carers’ Association, an independent charity that works with Doncaster Children’s Services Trust, and provides foster carers and foster children with a voice in how the Trust runs its fostering service.
Janice said: “All my life I’ve been passionate about working with children and making a real difference to them. It means so much to me to have won the award especially as the nomination came from some of the children I’ve cared for.”
Paul Moffat, chief executive of Doncaster Children’s Services Trust, said: “I never cease to be amazed by the work of our foster families. Adam and Janice are both worthy winners.”
Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, added: “Adam exemplifies what a positive contribution to the community young people who have grown up in foster care can make and fostering couldn’t work without the dedication of foster carers such as Janice.”