Margaret Watson is as far from retired as you can imagine. The spritely 72-year-old is one of Newcastle City Council's longest running foster carers and was recently awarded an MBE for her commitment to the role and for her services to children.
Having spent years helping her own children grow up, she along with husband Alex were keen to fill the nest again. Learning that some babies needed a place to stay before going to their 'forever home', Margaret knew instantly that was what she wanted to do.
As well as the constant support available through Newcastle City Council, which is both personal and financial, Margaret has always had a strong network of family and friends around her.
"I can pick up the phone at any time to get whatever support I need from the Council, whether this is advice, medical help or just to have someone to talk to. It's never lonely and the benefits far outweigh the challenges.
"I consider myself extremely lucky. Nowadays I get to meet the adoptive parents when the handover takes place. While it is of course painful, I get to see how much the child will be loved and meet lovely new people. Best of all, where they want to stay in touch we do so and I have many children who see me as a grandparent type figure, which makes me happy."
If you're interested to foster or adopt a child, you can visit the links above for more helpful information.