Couple’s service award

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Foster carers from our region have been commended for a quarter-of-a-century of service, and helping to transform the lives of more than 30 young people.

Stuart and Cath Gullen were presented with an award for their dedication by Nottinghamshire County Council’s chairman Coun John Allin at a recent ceremony for carers across the county at County Hall.

Children have been placed with the couple for short term, support care and prior to them being adopted.

Cath (63) said: “Our own three children have grown up in a fostering household and continue to care about the children we get to stay with us.

“The last 25 years have been exceptionally rewarding for both Stuart and I and we have felt it an honour to have met and cared for so many lovely children and young people.”

One particularly upsetting placement for Cath and Stuart was when they cared for a disabled little boy for all his five years of life.

Cath added: “We brought him back from hospital and he stayed with us until he died but we never left his side, he was a massive loss to us and it took a long time to get over his death.”

Cath leads the Mansfield Foster Carers Association and often organises fundraising events and she has recently started facilitating training for foster carers.

Coun Allin called the 21 foster carers who received awards ‘truly inspiring individuals’ adding: “With the increasing number of children in care, demand on our services has also meant we’ve also had to rely on expensive, external foster and residential providers in recent years.

“To reduce this reliance, as well as responding to the growing demand for foster carers – especially for girls and boys aged 11 and older - we need to recruit an extra 25 foster carers every year.”

To find out more about fostering, call the council’s recruitment team on 0845 301 8899 or visit