Awards ceremony recognises Leeds longest serving foster carers: facebookavatar-890267.jpg

31 May 2019

Awards ceremony recognises Leeds longest serving foster carers

Afternoon tea with the new Lord Mayor of Leeds is on the menu as 11 exceptional foster carers who have fostered Leeds children celebrate more than 25 years, and some more than 35 years in their rewarding roles.

In the wake of national fostering week, Leeds City Council’s fostering service, Foster4Leeds is commemorating some of the city’s longest serving foster carers who have provided safe, loving homes for some of Leeds’ most vulnerable children.

Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Eileen Taylor said:

“Fostering is an incredibly important role and these amazing families change the lives of children in Leeds by welcoming them into their home.

“It is a privilege to host such truly remarkable foster carers who have served children for so many years and recognise their hard work and commitment.”

Councillor Fiona Venner, Leeds City Council’s executive member for children and families said:

“In Leeds, we are driving forward our ambition to be the best city for children and young people to grow up in – a Child Friendly City. Our Children and Young People’s Plan underpins this ambition and we are committed to ensuring that every child has the opportunity to fulfil their potential. The dedicated foster carers have changed so many lives in the last 35 years, and I am delighted that we are able to recognise their contribution. They truly are an inspiration to the rest of our city.

“Fostering allows children to maintain contact with their birth families in a safe, secure and loving environment. We are always on the lookout for new foster carers in Leeds and would encourage anybody interested in finding out more to get in touch with Foster4Leeds. Who knows, it may be the important first step to a rewarding new role.”

Foster4Leeds’ longest serving foster carer is believed to be Danyela Wilson who was first approved in 1981. Danyela was a 25-year-old nurse when she first became involved with children with special needs at Meanwood Park Hospital in the early 1980’s. She has cared for 53 children since, on long term fostering or short-term breaks. Danyela Said:

“It has been challenging at times, but it’s just a way of life, I couldn’t imagine not doing it. I’m proud to know I have been able to make a difference to so many young people’s lives, and I would recommend it to others as an amazing opportunity.”

Foster4Leeds run information events at coffee shops and community hubs around the city. Visit for more information or follow them on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram @LdsFosteringAdv.


Notes to editors:

There are 2 Child Friendly Leeds blogs here: and that details stories of the foster carers journey's through the years.

Foster carers receiving awards on the day include:

  • Mary and Martin Birkinshaw, approved in 1981.
  • Danyela Wilson, approved in 1981.
  • Jan Pulham, approved in 1983.
  • Celina Archibald, approved in 1990.
  • Christine and Jeff Steeden, approved in 1992.
  • Marion Harris, approved in 1993.
  • Joyce and Andrew Lacovou, approved in 1994.
  • Patsy Fraser, approved in 1994.

Media wishing to attend the event on 5 June 2019 at the Ark Royal Room, Civic Hall, Leeds, should contact: Vanessa Lancaster, Communications and Marketing Assistant: 0113 3783690, E-mail:


  • 13:30: Presentation of vouchers and flowers from Lord Mayor, Councillor Eileen Taylor and Councillor Fiona Venner, Executive Member for Children and Families to foster carers.
  • 13:45: Photographs with families, Lord Mayor, Executive Member for Children and Families, flowers (in the Ark Royal Room or on the steps of the Civic Hall) opportunity for press to talk to the foster carers and take more photos.
  • 14:00: Close

For media enquiries contact:

Leeds City Council Communications team