Hertfordshire County Council has commended its exceptional carers, for their long service and dedication to the foster system.
Among the foster carers receiving an exceptional award was Gloria Swanston from Hemel Hempstead, who was commended for her outstanding service to fostering in Hertfordshire.
Earlier this year, Gloria also became a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) in His Majesty King Charles III’s first Honours List.
Gloria, 73, who has been fostering for 22 years, said: “I always wanted to foster. When a foster carer came to our church to advertise fostering, she had three foster children at the time, and my heart just went out to those kids, and I thought I’ve got to do this.”
During her time as a foster carer, Gloria has fostered five boys and also two girls on a short-term basis. She has also provided respite day care for about 10 children and provides support to other foster carers.
Gloria said: “I’ve made lots of friends in fostering, and it helps me to see things differently because I’m not a mother, so it’s opened up lots more for me.
“I do things I wouldn’t have done because of the children. I was there for them, taking them where they wanted to go. In fact, sometimes my husband used to say they’re the ones in charge not me, but I just love it!”