New Year's Honours: Son nominates foster carer mum for award

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Andy HiderImage source, Andy Hilder
Image caption,
Andy Hider says she has looked after "well over 100 kids"

A foster carer honoured for looking after more than 100 children has said she felt "privileged" to have had the opportunity.

Andy Hider, 74, has been made an MBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours after 35 years caring for young people from Bristol, Bath and Somerset.

Mrs Hider, from Keynsham, was nominated by her son Ben Scott, who said the family felt "lucky" to have her.

"I would do it all over again," she said.

Image source, Empics
Image caption,
Andy Hider said she would be accepting the award "on behalf of foster carers everywhere"

When she started in 1985, Mrs Hider was a single mother raising three sons and trying to make an income.

She saw an advert in the local library looking for foster carers for teenagers who were more difficult to place in foster homes and signed up, planning just to do it short term.

"Nobody wants teenagers except me - I love teenagers," she said.

"If you could say to me back then you could have won the lottery and not done any of this, I would have chosen this."

She said the fact her son nominated her "meant more to me than actually the award itself" because her biggest fear had always been that her own children had suffered because of her fostering.

She said she had felt guilty about her sons having to "share me with many other young people" but they were "more rounded human beings" because of it.

Mrs Hider said the majority of the children she had cared for still kept in touch.

"I've been so privileged to share the lives of these kids. Probably well over 100 kids that I've looked after now, mostly long-term, it's been fantastic.

"We've had our ups and downs but we have had lots of laughs as well.

Mr Scott, 48, said: "It's such a tough job and she has helped so many kids.

"I am very proud of her. We feel very lucky to have her.

"How many people get to say they have had that many brothers and sisters? They have all taught me something."