THE Mayor of Redcar and Cleveland, Councillor Karen King, hosted a special Long Service Reception early this week (Monday 22 January) for a couple who have fostered for a staggering 35 years.

Neil and Janette Dewsbury from Liverton Mines first started their fostering journey in December 1982.

Over the years, Neil, who previously worked at Boulby Potash, and Janette who worked at the local Co-Op, have taken in toddlers, teenagers and children with complex needs, both on a long-term and short-term basis, including emergency stays.

Neil said: “Over the years, we have fostered 25 children. The first child we fostered 35 years ago is still part of our family to this day. He only came for the weekend and he’s been with us ever since.”

Janette said: “The best thing about this whole experience is the knowledge that you have made a difference; you’ve helped them through the stages they needed help with, and they’re now moving onto something bigger and better.”

Mayor of Redcar and Cleveland, Cllr Karen King, said: “35 years of foster caring is such a tremendous achievement. As a former foster carer myself, I know of the huge commitment and sacrifices they have made over those years.

“Neil and Janette have made such a positive difference to so many children and young people by giving them the stability and support and guidance they need in what can be a very difficult time in their life.”

The council wants to hear from wonderful people who want to offer loving and caring foster homes. If you would like to have a chat about it, please call 01642 444087.