Queen’s honours for foster-caring couple

Founder of the PSHE Association Jan Campbell

Founder of the PSHE Association Jan Campbell

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A COUPLE who fostered more than 80 children are among those recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours list.

The Stamford and Rutland residents honoured on the list, which was announced on Saturday, also includes an adventurer, a school principal, the founder of a teacher support service and the chairman of a voluntary group.

Foster carers Audrey and Jack Simmons

Foster carers Audrey and Jack Simmons

Audrey and Jack Simmons, 82 and 80, of Stamford, are foster carers for Lincolnshire County Council. They have both been awarded MBEs for services to families.

The couple, who have seven children and two adopted children, became carers in 1969 and have looked after more than 80 babies and toddlers since then.

Mrs Simmons said: “We are very excited, we haven’t quite come down to earth yet.

“I am delighted we have been honoured and in many respects we are getting it on behalf of many other foster carers in the area. They all do such good work.

“We have loved fostering and wouldn’t have done it for so long if we didn’t enjoy it.”

The couple are still fostering and keep in touch with many of the children they have looked after.

Adventurer Sarah Outen, 26, from Oakham, has been awarded an MBE for her services to rowing, conservation and charity.

In 2009 Miss Outen became the first woman and youngest person ever to row solo across the Indian Ocean and has raised more than £30,000 for arthritis charities and regularly visits schools to talk about her achievements.

She said: “It’s a real honour and I’m very proud.”

“The things I have done over the last few years, and what I am doing now, couldn’t have happened without the support of a lot of people – my team, my family and friends.

“This is for all of them, even those who are no longer here.”

Jan Campbell, of Park Lane, Stamford, is founder and chair of trustees of the Personal, Social and Health Education Association which supports those who teach the subject in schools.

Mrs Campbell has been awarded an OBE for services to education.

She said: “I am particularly pleased because the honour recognises the association, which is a fantastic organisation that works very hard.

“I am passionate about the fact that personal, social and health education is an important part of the curriculum.

“It is not a subject that teachers are trained in at university and there was a real need to do something that would support them.

“There are lots of people involved and I am fortunate enough for my work to be recognised but there are a lot of unsung heroes out there.”

Also honoured was Peter Simpson OBE, of Egleton near Oakham, who has been knighted for his services to education.

Sir Peter is the executive principal of the Corby-based Brooke Weston Partnership, which has responsibility for Brooke Weston school, Corby Business Academy and Kettering Science Academy.

The chairman of Voluntary Action Rutland, Air Commodore Peter Gover, of Empingham, will receive an MBE for services to the voluntary sector.

Mr Gover has overseen the transformation of Voluntary Action Rutland from a small bureau to a well-established organisation that provides support and care for thousands.

Those on the list will be called to Buckingham palace at some point in the next six months to receive their honours from the Queen or her representative.