Foster parents to 40 kids in Leeds are recognised in New Year Honours

Over the years a Leeds couple have helped transform the lives of some of the most traumatised children with a 16-year dedication to fostering that has earned them an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List.

By Emma Ryan
Saturday, 28th December 2019, 5:00 pm
Maureen, 58, George, 59, Hughes, of Drighlington, Leeds, have been recognised in the New Year Honours
Maureen, 58, George, 59, Hughes, of Drighlington, Leeds, have been recognised in the New Year Honours

George and Maureen Hughes, of Drighlington, have fostered around 40 children in that time.

They currently look after three children aged 10 to 13.

The couple keep in contact with a lot of the children and young adults they foster, providing ongoing support including helping them move house and seeing them at birthdays and Christmas.

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One young woman who was fostered by them said she didn’t know what would have become of her without their love and care while she was growing up and she has just started working in children’s rights, with hopes of becoming a social worker and possible foster carer in the future.

Mr Hughes, aged 59, said: “My wife said she doesn’t deserve this but she really does for all that she has given up.

“We were invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace about 18 months ago so it was a bit of a shock to get this.

“But it is nice as well – it is lovely to be recognised. We have fostered babies to young mothers and everything in between, that is how varied it is.

“It is nice when we have spoken to older ones that have left and we have met again and it is nice to have made a difference.”

Who else in Leeds and Wakefield has been awarded honours?


* Thomas Messenger Riordan. Chief executive Leeds City Council. For services to Local Government.


* Ali Akbor. Chief executive Officer Unity Housing Association. For services to the community in Leeds.

* Professor Philip Howard. Consultant Pharmacist Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and lately National Project Lead, Antimicrobial Resistance, NHS Improvement. For services to Healthcare.


* Col Patrick Cairns, DL. Chief executive, St George's Police Children's Trust and Police Treatment Centres Charities. For services to Police Charities.

* Francis Stephen Clayton. Chair Yorkshire and the Humber Apprenticeship Ambassador Network. For services to Apprenticeships.

* Kathryn Anne Farrington. Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator Drighlington Primary School, Leeds. For services to Children and Young People.

*Gertrude Silman. Life president Holocaust Survivors Friendship Association. For services to Holocaust Education.

* Ruth Terry. Head of Service Children's Social Work, Leeds City Council. For services to Children and Families.

* Angela Wright. Foster Carer Wakefield Metropolitan District Council. For services to Children in Wakefield.


* Pauline Janet Burns. For services to the community in Knottlingley. West Yorkshire.

* Amy Hearn. For services to Libraries.