A COVENTRY super-carer has won a Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Award award.
Betty McGlinchey was presented the Local Hero Award for her services to the community by Carol Vorderman and Sir Bruce Forsyth at the ceremony on Tuesday, October 7, which was shown on ITV.
The 75-year-old has devoted her life to fostering more than 1,300 of Coventry’s most vulnerable children for over 34 years.
The former Coventry Council worker started fostering when her best friend died suddenly from meningitis, leaving her two daughters aged nine and 11 behind with nobody to care for them.
Speaking about her initial nomination, which saw her shortlisted with three other finalists, Betty said: “I’ve looked after children from war-torn countries, children who have lost parents in accidents, children who have needed a little bit of help to get back to a normal life.
“I’ve had trauma and tragedy. But it is so rewarding.”
The Stoke resident was nominated for the award by one of her former fostered children Terri Groves, who recognised the huge impact Betty makes on young people in the care system.
She said: “Without people like her, there are people who could go a very different way.”
Coun Ed Ruane, Coventry City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “Betty has been a beacon of hope and stability for so many of our city’s children and this recognition is thoroughly deserved.
“We need more foster carers in Coventry, who like Betty, can offer a safe, loving home and really make a difference to the lives of our city’s most vulnerable children and young people.
“Betty is most definitely a local hero to us.”
Susanna Reid and Ben Shepherd with award winner Betty McGlinchey at the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards 2014 at the Grosvenor House Hotel. Photo – Rowan Griffiths, Mirror Gp Newpapers. (s)