DOZENS of Bradford's longest serving foster carers have been recognised for their amazing dedication to supporting children. 

A celebration event for foster carers with five or more years' service was held at the Aagrah Midpoint Centre in Thornbury on Thursday.

More than 150 carers and other invited guests heard from a series of speakers at the event, which was attended by the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Gerry Barker.

In total, 43 families were recognised for their long service as foster carers, including: 

Ilkley couple Karen Myers and Gary Sutcliffe, who have been foster carers for 15 years, caring for 25 children during that time. They currently foster two teenagers aged 18 and 15.

Keighley News: Karen Myers and Gary SutcliffeKaren Myers and Gary Sutcliffe (Image: Foster for Bradford)

Shipley residents Fatima Gora and Sagheer Hussain, who have cared for children from different backgrounds, ethnicities and religions for 20 years, providing opportunities and support to go to university and maintaining contact with children as they became adults.

Keighley News: Shipley residents Fatima Gora and Sagheer HussainShipley residents Fatima Gora and Sagheer Hussain (Image: Foster for Bradford)

Bradford husband and wife Charles and Carole Holt, who have fostered children in Bradford for more than 15 years, caring for more than 100 children in wide-ranging circumstances, including overnight emergency placements.

Keighley News: Bradford husband and wife Charles and Carole Holt Bradford husband and wife Charles and Carole Holt  (Image: Foster for Bradford)

The event was organised by Foster For Bradford, the fostering service of Bradford Children and Families Trust.

Kim Bray, Foster for Bradford service manager, said: "Every child deserves to have a safe, secure and stable environment to be happy, healthy and achieve their full potential in life. 

"We are indebted to our foster carers for providing a safe haven to our most vulnerable babies and children."

Guest speakers at the event included Bradford resident Rashid Karolia, who was raised by his widowed father after moving to the UK in the 1960s.

Keighley News: Rashid KaroliaRashid Karolia (Image: Foster for Bradford)

Rashid shared his moving story of surviving life in and out of the Bradford care system in the 1960s and 1970s and how this shaped his life and career. 

He recently retired after a 40-year career as a social worker in Bradford. 

It was also attended by Ilkley resident Mike Davies MBE, chair and trustee of the Principle Trust Children's Charity, which provides respite breaks to youngsters who are underprivileged, disadvantaged, disabled, have life-limiting conditions or who have experienced poverty, trauma or abuse. 

Foster for Bradford is part of Bradford Children & Families Trust, which runs children’s social care in the Bradford district, and is strictly not-for-profit.

For more information on Foster For Bradford, visit: