Kate's gift all wrapped up by fostering charity


The Duchess of Cambridge has been given handmade quilts for Prince George and Princess Charlotte by two fostered children at an awards ceremony in London.

She was presented with the gifts by Rowan, aged seven, and Ambrose, 11, both of whom she met at a tea party thrown by the Fostering Network in January.

"You've grown since I last saw you," Kate said to Rowan.

One of the two quilts, created by the Helping Hands Quilting Group, was made up of cream and floral patches, while the other was blue with cartoon aeroplanes.

The group makes many more similar blankets every year for children going into foster care.

Kate attended the Fostering Network's Fostering Excellence Awards tea party, hosted by TV presenter Holly Willoughby, at the British Medical Association House in London.

Wearing a knee-length blue dress with a black buckled waistband by Saloni and black court shoes, Kate met a number of children and their foster parents who are in line for awards, despite dealing with often traumatic backgrounds.

Sian Connolly, 19, from Staffordshire, Emily Bowyer, 19, from Bedford, and Adam Howlett, 17, from Doncaster were all presented with a Fostering Achievement Award.

Sian was nominated after she was taken from her turbulent family home and, despite being moved to a number of foster placements, moved on to begin a beauty course, find her own place, and even become a carer for her birth mother.

She was one of the first to be greeted by the Duchess at the tea party of scones, finger sandwiches and French fancies, decorated in the Fostering Network's signature orange colour.

Sian's foster mother, Kathy Nouse-Clayton, said: "It was lovely to meet the Duchess, she was so personable and took an interest in each of the children - it was very heart-warming.

"I know what Sian has been through and she has been incredibly resilient. I am so proud of how she found the resilience to be able to support herself, live independently and then support her mother after everything."

In a speech during the presentation of the awards, Kate said: "It is such a great opportunity to pay tribute to the incredible achievements of the award winners, who represent the tens of thousands of dedicated foster carers, social workers and inspirational young people who make up the fostering community.

"It is fantastic that we are all gathered this evening to celebrate fostering and the truly transformational care that is a lifeline to so many."

The awards aim to celebrate extraordinary achievements of people within the fostering community, including foster carers, young people, social workers, civil servants and other young organisations, as well as of young people aged 16 to 24 who have been fostered.

Kate learned of the world of fostering in January this year during a visit to the Fostering Network, which brings together everyone involved in fostering to help improve their lives and make sure fostered children and young people are given the chance to achieve the best they can.

According to the charity, more than 64,000 children live with 52,500 foster families across the UK every day while they are unable to live at home. These children have often experienced neglect and abuse, or have witnessed domestic violence or substance misuse.

In 2015 there is a need for at least 8,370 new foster families in the UK, particularly to offer homes to teenagers, disabled children and groups of brothers and sisters.