Potter foster parents awarded MBE after helping 200 children

A Wallington couple who have cared for 200 children over 43 years of fostering were awarded an MBE in this month’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Still fostering: Brenda and Gordon Potter

Brenda and Gordon Potter have fostered for Croydon Council since 1989. Brenda had trained as a nanny, and the couple already had four children of their own, when they responded to an advert to foster babies who were awaiting adoption.

“We looked after several new babies from hospital, and found that we were quite good – if I can say that! – not only at looking after babies but children of all ages, including those with emotional baggage, special needs or disabilities. We just loved all of it,” Brenda Potter said.

“We are fortunate to have the room to be able to offer children a home, including sibling groups, and during night duty – it’s never been any bother, and we can have the bed made up within seconds for any child that needs it.

“It is very traumatic for a child being separated from their family, in any circumstances – and just being there for them, watching them become settled and happy, and blossom – I find it very rewarding.”

The couple, who live in Ross Road, Wallington, have also adopted three children.

They received a long service award from Croydon Council at their annual foster care awards earlier this year, and were “absolutely delighted” to find themselves on the Honours list.

They plan to continue fostering for the foreseeable future. “If we seem to be doing well, then why stop?” Brenda Potter said.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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