‘Foster Mum Changed My Life’

A foster carer from Wales, who “changed the future” of a vulnerable teenager, has won a national award. Norma Moses was commended in the Believe In Me Awards, held to highlight the work of carers, teachers and mentors.

Her 17-year-old foster daughter, Kathryn Lewis, wrote to the competition organisers to nominate her.

In the letter she described how she was shy and scared when she arrived at Norma’s home in Abercynon two years ago. She was so shy she barely communicated with Norma or her husband David, and refused to take her coat off.

She also struggled at school because of her lack of confidence and dyslexia, she said.

Kathryn was a persistent truant with an apparently small chance of getting qualifications.

Norma and David, who have fostered more than 50 teenagers over the past 21 years, slowly built trust and confidence with Kathryn, the competition heard.

Kathryn now attends school regularly and has passed GCSEs. She is also looking forward to attending college and wants a career as an outdoor activity instructor.

Kathryn went with Norma to the awards in London and saw her collect her Believe In Me Award from Holby City actress Amanda Mealing and Peter O’Hara, managing director of OLM – a children’s and adult’s social services systems provider.

Kathryn said, “Before I came here my life was completely different. I never attended school and never thought I would get any GCSEs.

“When I arrived at Norma’s I felt confused, shy and upset, but most of all I felt very lonely. It took a long time but I settled down and got to know my carers. My confidence grew and things became much better.”

Norma said afterwards, “ I was so proud of Kathryn, seeing her there at the awards mingling and talking to people as a confident young woman. I just want her to succeed and fulfil her dreams.”