THE DEDICATION of foster carers in Darlington was celebrated at an event on Wednesday.

Darlington Borough Council rewarded the hard work of the town’s foster carers with a presentation ceremony and three-course meal at the Bannatyne Hotel.

Among those attending was Glynne Linley who has looked after hundreds of children throughout her 25-year fostering career.

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She said: “I started fostering because my parents used to do it and it helps to give these kids a bit of a life and some stability.

“It makes a lot of difference to them and I’ve seen children’s lives completely change – I’ve looked after one lad since he was nine and he’s 21 now and about to move on but I’ve helped him to change his life.

“It means a lot to me but the worst part is when they leave and are adopted, which is great for them but heartbreaking for me.”

Councillor Cyndi Hughes, cabinet member for children and young people, opened the event.

She said: “I have the responsibility for ensuring the needs of all children and young people in Darlington, including the most disadvantaged and vulnerable, are met.

“This is a way of highlighting the achievements and saying thank you to all who foster in Darlington.

“Through fostering, you have learned the challenges and the rewards as safe, welcoming and understanding substitute parents.

“Your commitment goes a long way to giving youngsters the best start in life and everyone here tonight is an exemplary example of what a foster carer should be.”