Top award for Doncaster nurse Holly

Holly Macfarland
Holly Macfarland

A nurse from Doncaster hospital has been honoured at a London ceremony, for her remarkable achievements.

Holly Macfarland received the Outstanding Achievement in Education Award at The Fostering Network’s annual Fostering Excellence Awards.

Holly became the main carer for her two younger siblings at an early age, after relationship breakdowns and ill health within her family. She did shopping and chores, and got her siblings ready for school.

But in October 2012 all three children entered foster care. Despite an hour-long journey to school, Holly got A-C grades in her GCSEs.

She then saved up for a car by working unsociable hours at a motorway service station, while studying for her A-levels. She also  managed two months of voluntary work at a care home. 

Holly went on to gain two Bs and a C in her A levels, despite suffering two significant bereavements. Then she went on to a nursing degree.

With her car, Holly visits her mum, a 45-minute drive away, to support her and her two siblings.

Her former foster carer, Brian Parker, said: ‘Holly has seen at first hand the care system at work.  It is so uplifting that she wants to reciprocate that care by helping others in need. She has enriched our lives and is about to do the same for many people as a qualified nurse.’

Holly said: “Nursing is very rewarding and I feel I fit right in. I always wanted to become a nurse, but this may not have been the outcome if I wasn't placed with Brian and Lindsay.’