The Honour of being a Foster Parent


Margaret and John Recognised for a lifetime of Love, Care and Time with a British Empire Medal.

For 29 years Margaret and John Lecky from Hillsborough, Co Down, have been child minders and been providing Fostering respite and Foster care for last 12 years to over 50 children....(not all at once obviously)....what is more remarkable is that Margaret and John are 66 and 67 years respectively and...still to this day... provide love care and support for Foster Kids.

What made them want to be a Foster parent? Margaret doesn’t mind sharing her story of how their life of caring came to be, and is keen to highlight that her husband John has been instrumental in the way they help others.

The reality for Margaret and John many years ago was that they couldn’t have children, “I had a hysterectomy...whilst it was difficult I knew I wanted to help children and have them in our life..... never expecting to go this far. Thirty years ago our close friends asked if I would be interested in helping them by doing some child minding.....I jumped at the chance and really loved it, I enjoyed the fact that I was helping the kids and our friends equally...over time we both felt we could do more and make a difference, one thing led to another and we then after a smooth process of application we started doing some Fostering respite ......and we loved it.”

Whilst many parents will play a significant part in their child’s development, Margaret and John have done it for over 50 Children....let alone the time she puts into Child minding, which at last count was 63 children over the years this very day they are still provide loving care especially to wee babies....and for this reason Margaret has been honoured by the Queen with a British Empire Medal in recognition.

Margaret continued “Sometimes we might have a number of babies in the house at one time and we would obviously have to keep them close by for is not unusual for one child to be in a cot on John’s side of the room and one on my side so that we share the responsibility and ability to keep around the clock care.....This medal is really for the two of us, without John’s support we could never have done this”

The reality of life and foster care means that not all of the Children Margaret and John care for will remember them once they are older, in receiving this public recognition their love, time and caring will be recorded forever, so that those they have cared for will know they where loved by a wonderful couple in Hillsborough County Down.

Margaret is receiving the British Empire Medal for services to children through fostering and her role in child minding with parent and toddler groups – Alongside John they shall be recognised in Northern Ireland and they will both head off to Buckingham Palace to formally attend a garden party.

Thank You Margaret and John from everyone at ‪#‎BelfastTrust‬- wishing you both a massive congratulations.

If you would like to know more about fostering, please contact: or call the Regional phone number: 0800 0720 137