A young foster carer from Horsham has received a national award in London.
Ben Taylor, 15, was presented with the Outstanding Contribution by Sons and Daughters Award following many years of foster caring.
Ben shares his Horsham home with a number of fostered children who have social, physical or developmental needs. He was nominated for the award by a social worker who runs training for foster families.
Peter Evans, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children – Start of Life, said: “We would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Ben – his selfless actions are both outstanding and inspiring. His care is quite rightly being recognised on a national level.”
The award celebrates Ben’s extraordinary contribution to his fostering family during the last 12 months, which has included contributing to training for potential foster families, talking to groups of children about his experiences and playing an active part in a support group for other children who help foster.
Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said: “Being part of a fostering family isn’t always easy, but Ben has shown enormous compassion in opening his heart and his home to children with a range of challenges.
“It’s all too easy to talk about the negative statistics that are often associated with children in care – but if you show the patience, and give the effort, that Ben has then we can all work together to make the negativity a thing of the past.”
The awards are an annual celebration of fostering and were hosted by television star Holly Willoughby, with HRH The Duchess of Cambridge in attendance.
To find out more about fostering in West Sussex visit https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/education-children-and-families/adoption-and-fostering/.