Foster carers take note: the origins of Motown – this year’s theme – resonate strongly with fostering…the original Motown – described as an irresistible force of social and cultural change: Berry Gordy’s legendary Motown sound has made its mark all over the world – not just on the US music scene – but also here on a chilly November night in Bath Road. And what does the Motown theme have in common with the sterling work of our award-winning foster carers – recognised on Saturday evening? Well, Motown represents more than just its famous music: the renowned label came into existence due to the hard work of a group of dedicated individuals. Together, they had to overcome daunting obstacles to achieve great success: (sound familiar to all our foster carers). It was on January 12th, 1959 the young African-American songwriter Berry Gordon founded the Motown label – a shortening of “Motor Town” – as Detroit had always been known.
Berry Gordon was a man of vision, drive and determination who his friends said believed in turning negatives into positives. And this is the answer to our original question – what our theme has in common with our amazing foster carers – could you imagine a better set of character attributes for a carer to possess? The foster carers whose achievements we celebrated all demonstrated vision, drive and determination. Above all, they have shown ambition for the children and young people they care for – wanting them to succeed in life. And just like Berry Gordy, our Rainbow foster carers strive every day for our youngsters to help turn, what, have been negative experiences into positive ones. Our Motown theme this year could hardly have been more appropriate!
So Berry Gordon was certainly a man of courage – determined to drive his vision forward. And one or two members of Team Rainbow displayed similar courage – if not quite the same vision – judging by their costumes and their dance moves – if that’s what they were. It has to be said at this point, that such observations apply to none of the female members of Team Rainbow. They rose to the occasion and went on to even greater heights – as evidenced by the assorted ‘beehives’ on display.
Some of Team Rainbow’s members’ names have been changed to protect their identities. This will be understood by anyone who has seen the videos. As for their reputations – for two at least – Benny and Bill – these are now in tatters – the result of repeated ill-timed and ill-judged dance moves – as well as serious fashion offences. Benny had perfected the art of dancing to tracks that weren’t actually being played – a rare skill! Bill’s dancing style was likened to a ‘controlled seizure’ set to music – any music – or in fact no music at all. What more can be said of these two who; in their shades resembled a pair of unmusical mafia dons on tour…but none of that mattered: for in the person of AK – AKA – our own Michael Jackson – all present were treated to a series of dance routines Michael himself would have been proud of: ‘Moonwalking’ brought to the Bath Road more than compensated for the antics of our two erstwhile mafia dons – as well as the dancing efforts of two other Team members (both over 9 feet tall – achieved by Motown ‘Afros’ which had clearly seen better days).
It was then time for the serious business of presenting well-earned awards: Aijaz, our Director (minus the afro he had earlier been providing a secure, stable and loving home to) sported his more usual style of coiffure to preside over the evening’s presentations…
As with all our awards given out over the years, this stage in the evening’s proceedings was a humbling moment. It afforded everyone the opportunity to reflect upon the amazing and unselfish work of our foster carers. Their achievements were underscored in rousing and inspirational speeches given by Dr Rami Ranger and Claire Ward former MP for Watford.
Afshan, Director of Rainbow, also gave a memorable speech celebrating the achievements of our foster carers, but also marking the achievements of Team Rainbow staff members. This made clear to all our foster carers that they are part of a team dedicated to working in support of our Rainbow community at all times.
The evening culminated in more sublime music from our very own Motown band – skilfully reprising some of the greatest Motown hits. More dancing followed with moves from Benny and Bill, which, despite their best efforts, hotel security were unable to prevent. Did that matter? Of course not as the benighted pair were instantly eclipsed by more memorable ‘Moonwalking’ from our very own ‘Wacko Jacko’. Check out AK’s moves below – I have been asked to point out he can now be booked for church fetes, supermarket openings and for those seeking distraction whilst undergoing extraction – dental appointments.
Great food, great music and great company – could we have asked for more? So a big thank you to all our foster carers, guests, members of Team Rainbow and, of course, our Directors who facilitated such a memorable evening.
And next year: Bollywood Beckons – already trailed by Ali Quli Mirza the famous Bollywood singer – another of our illustrious guests. We are already looking forward to seeing you all again in 2019!
We want to hear your views on the Awards evening and would ask all our foster carers to look out for a special survey you will be receiving soon.
2018 Foster Care Award Winners
So congratulations to all our Achievement Award winners this year: Anna, Irene, Aftab, Dorothy, Tutrinh, Asaph, Beverley, Tania, Mark, Sharon, Katra, Maxley, Sasha, Frankie, Sufia, Sergio, Julie, Ian, Sheila, Howard, Sandra, Collin. Lucy, Sonia, Trevor, Faye, Colin, Ambreen, Priscilla, Michael, Beverley, Richard, Despina, Antonakis, Jamal, Saadia, Cathy, Priya, Hiren, Anna, Costas and Panayiota.
2018 Rainbow individual and team foster care awards
And congratulations to Leanne for winning this year’s Commitment and Loyalty Award and to Rainbow’s Placement and Recruitment Team – as well as Rainbow’s Social Work Team for winning Achievement Team Awards.