Inspirational Leeds grandmother who has changed children’s lives will have her story published

Jennie Ngulube.  Picture Bruce Rollinson
Jennie Ngulube. Picture Bruce Rollinson
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A grandmother from Leeds who was awarded an MBE in recognition of her services to children is to launch a book about the story of her life.

Jennifer Ngulube, 53, has spent her adult life looking after disadvantaged children, fostering more than 20 at her home in Moor Allerton.

Now, after being awarded the recognition by the Queen in her Birthday Honours in 2015, the grandmother of four is writing her autobiography, Sailing Through the Storms of Life, which will be published later this year.

Ms Ngulube, who worked at an orphanage in her native Zimbabwe, moved to Leeds in 2002 with her four children.

She had worked as a teacher in Zimbabwe and had initially intended to follow that career path back in the UK, until she explored foster caring.

She was approved by the Leeds branch of Swiss Foster Care in 2007 and says has never looked back.

Describing her work with foster children in Leeds as “her calling”, she has always said she cannot imagine ever doing anything else.

“I love kids and seeing the difference in children who come from very difficult circumstances most of the time,” she said when she was made an MBE. “There’s nothing as satisfying as seeing children thrive. We’ve had kids come from very troubled backgrounds and seen them grow and become very confident in themselves.”

Now, as she prepares to launch her book about her own experiences, she says it is a story about struggle, but also of hope.

“The book is about my childhood in wartime my own country, about independence, and then our move to the UK,” she said. “And it’s about not giving up, and wanting to help people along the way. It’s a story of struggle, and of hope.”