Horsham teenager receives major national award

Ben Taylor (photo: Caroline Field)
Ben Taylor (photo: Caroline Field)

The Duchess of Cambridge and TV star Holly Willoughby helped a Horsham teenager celebrate getting a major national award yesterday (Tuesday November 17).

Ben Taylor was presented with the Outstanding Contribution by Sons and Daughters Award in London, in recognition of many years of foster caring.

Ben Taylor with The Duchess of Cambridge (photo: Caroline Field)

Ben Taylor with The Duchess of Cambridge (photo: Caroline Field)

Ben, 15, who shares his home with a number of fostered children who have social, physical or developmental needs, was nominated for the award by a social worker who runs training for foster families.

Peter Evans, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children – Start of Life, said: “We would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Ben - his selfless actions are both outstanding and inspiring. His care is quite rightly being recognised on a national level.”

A county council statement says that the award celebrates Ben’s extraordinary contribution to his fostering family during the last 12 months, which has included contributing to training for potential foster families, talking to groups of children about his experiences and playing an active part in a support group for other children who help foster.

Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, added: “Being part of a fostering family isn’t always easy, but Ben has shown enormous compassion in opening his heart and his home to children with a range of challenges.

“It’s all too easy to talk about the negative statistics that are often associated with children in care – but if you show the patience, and give the effort, that Ben has then we can all work together to make the negativity a thing of the past.”

Ben received the award from Edward Timpson MP and James Tugendhat from Towergate Insurance, who support the award.

The awards are an annual celebration of fostering and were hosted by television star Holly Willoughby, with The Duchess of Cambridge in attendance.

To find out more about fostering in West Sussex contact visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/education-children-and-families/adoption-and-fostering/.

Find out about the Fostering Excellence Awards by visiting www.fostering.net/policy-and-campaigns/fostering-excellence-awards#.VkS2jaFFCP8

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