A caring couple have helped form the way forward for over 100 younger individuals – and the diamond couple say they wouldn’t have it another means.
Mary and Thomas Rattray, from Wishaw, have been foster carers for 30 years and have been just lately recognised for his or her excellent efforts with a Provost’s Citizenship Award.
Mary advised Lanarkshire Live: “We’ve had over 100 kids and we’ve simply taken on one other two boys.
“The Christmas record will get longer yearly.
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“Years in the past I ran a play college in Gowkthrapple and there was a recruitment day for anybody that was excited about fostering, I used to be doing the creche.
“We began as respite carers, then short-term carers, then long-term carers, then adoptive dad and mom, and supported carers. We’ve been by the total lot.”
Tam, as he’s recognized to most individuals, added: “It feels like lots, however it’s probably not if you realise how fast some can come and go.”
Mary continued: “It’s not all the time the best way individuals consider social work, with kids coming to us in unhealthy circumstances.
“There have been instances when dad and mom have been in poor health and in hospital and nobody else to take care of them.”
The couple’s Craigneuk house has all the time been a busy hive, with Craig, 25, John, 21, and Kieran, 15, everlasting residents and family members.
“The older two are in supported care now,” stated Mary. “They’ve been with us for 20 years and 18 years.
“They might have moved on in the event that they needed to, however they selected to stick with us.”
Mary and Tam are additionally present foster carers for 2 brothers, aged six and 7.
The household as an entire have been by each emotion over time and there have been loads of adventures.
“Holidays have been sensible, we’d go caravanning or tenting,” Mary added. “A great deal of weans would include us.
“It was simply insanity, however all of them cherished it and it is stored us younger as properly.”
Whereas they wouldn’t change a factor for the world, some elements of the job don’t get any simpler with time.
Mary admitted: “It’s laborious – each time the weans go away they take a wee little bit of you them.
“We had a child and a three-year-old throughout lockdown. One went again house and the opposite went for adoption, however sincere to God, it was laborious.
“It doesn’t get any simpler in all of the years we’ve been doing it. It will get tougher if something.”
And Tam agrees, however says they’re grateful that the majority be in contact.
He added: “Some have households of their very own now and nonetheless come again to see us. You don’t lose contact. You don’t stroll by on the street.
“That’s the largest factor for us – seeing them getting on with their lives.”
With all their laborious work, the couple could possibly be excused for wanting ahead to a while on their very own, however it’s one thing they don’t relish.
“We went to Cyprus, it was horrible,” Tom admits. “We had an excessive amount of time to ourselves and simply didn’t know what to do.
“Usually we don’t give it some thought.”
Mary added: “Our world is spherical in regards to the weans. It’s as a lot our life as it’s theirs.
“They’re determined simply now for extra foster carers in North Lanarkshire.
“We don’t do it for recognition, we do it as a result of we like doing it and it’s solely what the weans deserve.”
Anybody excited about fostering can apply online.
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