Mum's loving care for children earns MBE
Andy Hider Photo: BBC
A FOSTER carer from Keynsham has received an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.
Andy Hider has fostered for 35 years and received the MBE for “services to children and young people in Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset” after being nominated by her son Ben Scott.
Andy, who is now aged 74, began fostering in 1985 when she was a single mum with three children of her own. After seeing an advert for foster carers in the local library, she initially planned just to do it in the short term.
However, in the years that have followed, she has cared for more than 100 children and teenagers and is now planning to retire after making a difference to so many lives.
Andy has worked with Amicus Foster Care, based in St Werburghs, Bristol, during her fostering career.
Set up in 2009, the agency looks for foster carers from all walks of life. It is rated as outstanding by Ofsted, is the only Makaton-accredited foster care company in the South West and currently looks after 43 children across 36 families.
Andy told Keynsham Voice: “The fact that my son nominated me meant more to me than receiving the MBE itself.
“I always thought they’d just grown up with it and that this is just what Mum does, and it really touched my heart strings.
“Being a foster carer is the best job in the world - how many people in their careers can say they’ve made a difference to a young person’s life?
“It’s such a privilege to play a role in their life, at what is often some of their most difficult times, and I understand how difficult it must be for the birth families, too.
“Seeing someone else support their child must be really hard, and I think the most important role of a foster carer is to keep up the relationship with the birth family and work with them.
“If anyone is interested in finding out more about being a foster carer, I would tell them to just pick up the phone and make an enquiry. You’re not committing to anything at that stage, as there is still a process of assessment to go through.
“Amicus are a fantastic small agency, and you will get 100% support and great training.”
As there is a shortage of foster carers in Bristol at the moment, there has never been a more important time for people to give a home to some of the city’s most vulnerable young people.
To find out more about Amicus and becoming a foster carer, call 0117 955 5039 or visit www.amicusfostercare.com.