Two dedicated Bridlington foster carers are over the moon after finding out they are to receive MBEs for their work supporting children over the last 42 years.
Victor and Miriam Elizabeth Bennett, who have been married 46 years, were named in the Queens Birthday Honours list, which was released on Friday night.
Victor, 66, who retired from his job with Virgin Trains when he was 55, said: “We couldn’t believe it when we got the letters, when we opened them we thought it had come from someone in the family, because we have a few jokers here.
“It’s not really sunk in yet and we have no idea who nominated us. We are so shocked, it’s just come out of the blue, I think it’s quite unusual for a couple to both get awarded an MBE.
“We are both hoping we can continue fostering until we reach 50 years doing it.
“We both come from big families and we like having lots of people around, I think it’s kept us both young. We have got so much joy over the years from giving these children a decent life, they have all been taken into care for one reason or another.
“We’ve devoted our lives to fostering and I would recommend it to anybody who has a spare bedroom.
Victor and Miriam have fostered hundreds of children and provide short term, long-stay and emergency and fostering.
The couple, who live on Wellington Road, have fostered five special needs children in the past 15 years and have also raised their own children and two adopted sons.
Miriam, 62, added: “We were just gobsmacked. We had to check when we got the letters that they had the right address, I didn’t know what we had done that was so special, there must be other foster carers who have done so much too.
“It’s so special to get the MBE, it’s something that usually goes to actresses and actors, it’s only just beginning to kick in.
“I’m looking forward to getting a new hat now.
“Fostering is the most brilliant job in the world, you either love it or you hate it.”
Victor and Miriam have always made children comfortable in their new environment catering for their individual needs and being sympathetic to their problems.
They moved from Leeds to Bridlington 12 years ago in order to meet the health needs of two of the children placed with them.