Fostering North Yorkshire team members came together in Coxwold to celebrate Keith and Gill Burn’s achievements – and to say a huge thank you to them for their 32 years of caring for some of the county’s young people.
Keith and Gill are retiring from the service and County Councillor Janet Sanderson, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Children’s Services, said: “FNY is part of North Yorkshire County Council and every year it provides foster homes for about 300 local children who need looking after.”
“Dedicated foster carers like Keith and Gill play an essential part in providing this service and we really want to take this opportunity to thank them for the huge contribution they have made. We’ve always appreciated the way they’ve bonded with each child they fostered, embracing them as part of their own family, supporting and championing them, just as they’ve done with their own children.’’
Gill said: “Every young person we fostered became part of our family. We’re still in touch and involved with so many of them, so it almost feels like we’re moving to another phase of fostering rather than leaving fostering.
“Our first foster child is 40 this month. We’ll be having a shared birthday celebration with him and my mum, who has reached the grand age of 80. And we fostered a boy for 12 years- he’s now grown up and living in California, but kept his promise to take mum to Claridges for tea on her 80thbirthday just last week, which was just lovely!”
Keith described the couple’s decision to retire as one of the hardest they have had to make, but said: “Although we’ve worked hard to help some of our foster children through difficult times in their lives, we’ve had some wonderful rewards too and we want to take the opportunity to thank everyone in the FNY team for the opportunity to work with them all over the past 32 years.
“Our lives will be forever richer from the experience, as we feel we’ve received every bit as much as we have given.”
It will not be all rest and relaxation for Keith and Gill though. They will be kept busy with their four grandchildren, who are all under school age, their adopted daughter and running their busy farm and campsite.
They have also been busy taking part in FNY’s new film about fostering teenagers and some of their experiences can be heard first hand at https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/life-foster-carer
For more information about fostering with FNY, visit www.northyorks.gov.uk/fostering or call Fostering North Yorkshire on 01609 534654.