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Points of Light Award: Larne couple hope honour inspires more people to foster

A Larne couple have been praised by Boris Johnson for over four decades of dedication to fostering vulnerable children.

Diane and Patrick McCourt, who have opened up their home to more than 250 vulnerable children down the years, have today (Wednesday) received the Prime Minister’s Points of Light Award.

They became approved foster carers in 1978, and have since welcomed children of all ages, and for a range of care periods, from several weeks and months care while children are in the process of moving to permanent homes, through to years of fostering and adoption.

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With the need for foster carers an ongoing matter of urgency in Northern Ireland, Diane and Patrick have remained devoted to showcasing the importance of the service and its benefits to the community.

Diane and Pat McCourt have been praised for their dedication to fostering.

Diane and Patrick said: “We have been fostering for over 40 years and in that time we have cared for over 250 children. It is really lovely to receive this award for what we have done however we just see it as part of our life.

“We have been lucky to have had these children in our life and I suppose that’s why we still foster today. It is worth noting that there is a real need for foster parents in Northern Ireland and perhaps this award might make people see how we have loved doing this and might make someone else consider doing it in their life.”

Outstanding Volunteers

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

Every week day the Prime Minister recognises inspirational volunteers who are making a change in their community with the Points of Light award.

First established by President George H W Bush in 1990, over 6,000 Points of Light have been recognised in the USA. UK Points of Light was developed in partnership with the US programme and launched in April 2014.

Find out more about the Points of Light at www.pointsoflight.gov.uk/winners-stories

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