Queen honours young people champions
9:51am Thursday 19th June 2014 in News
IT’S been a right royal week for three Barry people after the Queen chose to honour them as part of her annual birthday celebration.
Foster carers Sandra and Stuart Peacock and Cadoxton primary headteacher Janet Hayward have been awarded MBEs and an OBE respectively.
67-year-old Sandra and 66-year-old Stuart have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for their roles as foster carers and for their services to children and families in the Vale.
The couple have provided short and long term care for more than 150 children and young people, from birth to leaving the system, who cannot live with their families, since 1969 – and they were nominated for the award by one of their foster children.
Sandra said: “I found it really hard to keep it a secret and we are looking forward to sharing it with the family. They are all really proud.”
The couple remain in contact with the people who leave their care – with the eldest now aged 55 – and ensure their charges see other parts of the world and attractions locally and in the UK.
Sandra added: “We don’t end up just taking the children. We usually end up taking half the neighbourhood.
“We encourage the children to get involved with as many activities as they possibly can."
Stuart added: “It’s not a job. We see them right through to independence and it’s a big part of our lives.
“Together we have squeezed out every ounce of family fun.”
They have used their experience and skills to mentor and support other foster carers.
Sandra and Stuart also provide a significant support network as carers, including their involvement in support groups for children in foster care and they have also used their experience and skills to mentor and support other foster carers.
45-year-old Janet, headteacher of Cadoxton primary for three years and formerly Barry Island primary for 12 years, was recognised for her services to education.
She celebrated the honour when Cadoxton and Barry Island pupils, staff, and parents gathered on the beach to perform a Solstice dance.
Janet has been at the forefront of digital education in schools – chairing the national digital learning council and task and finish group and compiling a report: Find It, Use It, Make It, Share It – Learning in Digital Ways as well as various other initiatives.
Janet said: “I was rather speechless. It is fantastic. I get up every morning to do a job I love and that is a privilege every day. You get to make a difference to peoples’ lives beyond our school.
“I am a very lucky woman. I’m privileged to work with really committed staff both here and at Barry Island and with the support of headteachers across Barry.”