Couple Who Fostered 53 Children Over The Past Four Decades Are Honoured

14th September 2023
Norma and David Tennis

A couple from Newtownards, who have provided a home for an incredible 53 children, including siblings, in the South Eastern Trust over the past 36 years have been honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award for their exceptional contribution to the fostering community at the recent NI Foster Care Awards ceremony.

David and Norma Tennis, are retiring after decades of tireless dedication, providing a variety of care for children, including emergency, short breaks and long term fostering. David has also played a crucial role as a valued member of the SET Fostering panel as the foster carer representative.

Receiving their well-deserved award Norma reflected, “David and I are very honoured to have been presented with this award, it’s something that’s very precious to us. To be acknowledged for our part in helping the children and having so many years behind us is great. We have really enjoyed our time.”

The prestigious event, which was a heart-warming testament to the extraordinary foster carers who continually exemplify the spirit of compassion and care,  was hosted by The Fostering Network in partnership with HSC NI Foster Care.

Interim Director of Children’s Community Services who represented HSC NI Foster Care, Kerrylee Weatherall acknowledged the remarkable efforts of foster carers saying, “The Northern Ireland Foster Care Awards provides an opportunity for us to celebrate the enormous contribution that all foster carers make to the lives of our children and young people. It is through their exceptional efforts that countless children and young people have found comfort and hope in the face of adversity.

“We are delighted to have so many HSC NI foster carers receiving the recognition they deserve. Their continued commitment to providing the best care and support for children and young people in foster care is quite simply inspirational.

“Foster carers are truly extraordinary individuals who open their hearts and homes every day to provide a safe, loving, and nurturing environment for children and young people in need. They really bring hope home. Thank you to each and every one of them.”