MOTHERLY Sue Lax has brought up 55 children - and not one of them her own.

The super foster mum's devotion has been recognised with the presentation of an Outstanding Practice award from Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council's social services department.

Foster care support worker with the council, Mrs Lax and husband Freddie are presently caring for five children at their home in Boosbeck. They have looked after 55 children over the last 22 years.

At 57 years old, Mrs Lax has no plans yet to stop looking after other people's children. She said: "I'd been supporting foster carers in different ways over the years and the job just came up. I've been very, very lucky to do something I love. Winning the award is just a total shock."

Other staff and team achievement awards were: Team of the Year - The Supporting People Team (manager Pauline Lisle, Andrew Hames, Laura Waterhouse, Julia Grayson, Melanie Hardy, Steve Winter); Innovation Award - residential social worker Wendy Fewster; Manager of the Year - Tim Graham, principal finance and management information officer; Director's Star Award - contracts officer Lynne Kasper; Services and carers awards: children's - social worker Christine Fletcher, adults' - sensory support team member Ann Pyle.