A Croydon couple who have fostered approximately 200 children over 43 years have been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours.

Brenda and Gordon Potter have taken on children in need of temporary care in Croydon since 1989, despite having four children of their own, three of whom are adopted.

The couple, who live in Ross Road, 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 teh New Year's honours list.

Brenda had already trained as a Nanny when they first responded to an advert to foster new babies who were waiting 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 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.”

“What more of a reward can you get, for something you love doing?”

Councillor Alisa Flemming, cabinet member for children, young people and families, said: “I am so pleased that Brenda and Gordon are getting this very well-deserved recognition for everything they have done, for so many children in Croydon. Many congratulations to them both.

“They have made a real difference to so many young lives, giving their time and their care to around 200 children who for whatever reason, cannot stay with their own family. They have supported them through trauma, providing them with a safe space and a loving home. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude.”

For more information on fostering visit www.croydon.gov.uk/fostering