Prolific foster mum who helped home 219 children celebrates turning 100

One of Britain’s most prolific foster mums has celebrated her 100th birthday – after helping to raise 219 children.

Joan Barker’s walls are plastered with photos of the lucky kids who she has given a home to over the years.

The loving centenarian has kept in touch with many of her former foster children through their adult lives.

She even has a special “wedding wall” featuring the photos of those who went on to marry.
Joan, who began fostering in the 1960s with her late husband Doug, has three children of her own.

They joined other relatives to mark her 100th birthday at her home in Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucs, on Monday.

She was also visited by Tammy Wheatley, the Head of Fostering at Gloucestershire County Council.

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Tammy presented the remarkable pensioner with a birthday card and a bouquet of flowers.
She said: “When I heard it was Joan’s 100th birthday I was very keen to meet her and wish her well.

“It was lovely to hear all about her experience of fostering and to find out how much things have changed over the years.

“Providing a safe and stable home to so many children is a huge achievement.

“It’s clear that Joan has made a real difference to so many young lives, even inspiring her own daughter to become a foster carer too.

“It was an absolute privilege to meet her.”

Chris Spencer, Director of Children's Services at Gloucestershire County Council, added: “Fostering is a valuable service.

“We are very grateful to foster carers like Joan who do so much to improve the lives of children looked after away from their families.

“I would like to wish Joan a very Happy 100th Birthday.”

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