A couple who have fostered children for more than 43 years said it is their ‘young at heart’ attitude which has helped them raise hundreds of kids and land MBEs in the New Year’s Honours.
Molly and Bill Morris, 76 and 81, of Wheatley, began fostering children after taking care of a four year old autistic child while his family were in hospital.
Despite having four young kids of their own, the Morris’s missed him when he returned to his family and so a tradition was born.
Now, almost half a century on, the couple have been honoured with MBEs for their work.
Mrs Morris said: “Gobsmacked is not a word I like the children to use but I was when I found out (about the honour).
“We are people who don’t like a fuss. What we do is a way of life, really. It doesn’t feel so special to us. We are quite privileged to do it.”
What came as an extra shock to Mrs Morris was that she only discovered her own honour four hours after celebrating her husband’s.
“It was so funny,” she said.
“I opened his and read it and was so excited for him. It was only when I opened the rest of the post I saw another one but I thought, ‘I’ve already read that’. Then I realised it was still sealed.”
The pensioner later discovered it was her daughter and adopted son who put them forward for the honour and said the letter had her ‘crying for days’.
The Morris’s now provide relief care for other permanent carers and look after four children each week. However, the couple did not have a child at home for the first Christmas in 54 years and Mrs Morris described it as ‘horrible’.
“It was very quiet. For some reason everyone seemed to think it was quite good for us but it wasn’t.”
Mrs Morris said they will not be slowing down in taking care of children anytime soon as they are both still ‘young at heart’.
She added: “Bill’s always been very interested in joining in with everything with the foster children. He’s 81 now bless him. But there’s a lot of laughter when the kids are here, usually at my expense. They love it when I say ‘you guys are ganging up on me’.”