Posted 11:00AM on Wednesday 08 January 2014
“These days Kathleen comes to visit us once a month. We have been in each other’s lives for 13 years now and we have a special and enduring relationship that began when Kathleen came to live with us through Positive Futures’ Adult Placement Service.
“All my family had left home and I mentioned to my husband John about fostering or adopting now that it was just the two of us. By chance, I saw a leaflet about the service. So after many meetings and being assessed, Kathleen arrived with us for what was to be 6 months. She stayed for 6 years.
“I actually remember seeing Kathleen at the Special Olympics in Brighton many years before that. She was a great swimmer and she had, still has, the loveliest red hair! And there she was coming to live with us! Kathleen settled in and just became part of our family.
“I was so happy for her when she finally settled into her own place. That was in 2003, in supported living at Rigby Close. Neither of us wanted to lose contact, so she’s continued to visit us regularly, usually staying overnight. We chat and go for walks. She helps John with the supper. There are lots of grandchildren who all know her now; she was at all their christenings.
“Even though it is a long time since she lived with us there is still a bond between us. Kathleen is cherished and valued by the whole Hawkins family and that means a lot to John and me. When she reaches for my hand when we are together I know that means a lot to Kathleen as well.”