HRH The Duchess of Cambridge was the first to congratulate Doncaster teenager Adam Howlett for his contribution to caring for young people.
The 18-year-old, from Barnburgh, who has been in foster care himself since the age of three, won a top award in recognition of the way he has helped support his foster parents who also look after other children with life threatening conditions.
Kate Middleton presented Adam with the fostering achievement award at the national Fostering Excellence Awards in London on Tuesday, November 17.
Adam’s foster carer Carol Webster spends a lot of time in children’s hospitals with children who have life threatening conditions and Adam, who himself has learning difficulties, has been a huge help.
He was praised for being a friend to the children who enjoy his company. Adam was nominated for the award by other Doncaster foster carers.
Carol said: “I’m so extremely 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 local 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 Jenkins 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 and other foster carers.”
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 and I’m delighted that they have been recognised at the national awards for fostering."
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. He’s been a huge support to his foster carer and he is so highly regarded by the other children around him that he stood out when the judging panels were deciding on the award winners.
“Fostering couldn’t work without the dedication of foster carers such as Janice. She has worked tremendously hard over the past year to ensure that the fostered children of Doncaster know how much they’re cared about by everyone in the fostering community.”