THE hard work and dedication of foster carers was highlighted by Hillingdon Council at its annual foster carers’ gala.

The event recognises foster carers who have provided a loving home to a child or young person unable to live with his or her birth family. The borough presented 10 foster carers with long-service awards.

Merlin Joseph, Director of Children and Young People’s Services, said: "Foster carers play a valuable role in our community and this is our chance to recognise the difference they make to the lives of the children and young people they welcome into their home.”

Hillingdon Foster carer Hyacinth received an award celebrating 20 years of supporting children and young people in the borough.

She said: “Fostering is like planting a seed: you keep watering it and nurturing it and eventually it grows and turns into a beautiful flower.

“The rewards come through when you see the young person grow and achieve. It's definitely worth it."

Hillingdon offers 24-hour support, specialist training and a generous allowance, starting at £334 per week, to people who will offer a loving home to children and teenagers in their care The borough is calling for more prospective carers to come forward, particularly those from black and Asian communities.

To find out more about fostering, visit