A COUPLE who were told the seven-year-old boy they fostered would never secure a job or become independent are filled with pride at the young man he has become.

When foster carers Nettie and Tony Davies, of Mold, welcomed Nick, who is autistic and has ADHD, to their family they were warned he would likely struggle with independence in the future.

Fast forward to 2020 and 24-year old Nick has proved his doubters wrong!

Thanks to the unwavering love and support he has received from Nettie and Tony, he now has his first job as a Newspaper Delivery Person, delivering the Leader to people in his neighbourhood, and has become a much-loved face in his local community in Mold.

The people on his route are so impressed with him and his commitment to delivering their reading materials, that one street got together to sign and send him a birthday card.

Nick, not his real name which we have been requested not to use for privacy reasons, was encouraged to apply for the part-time job by Nettie and Tony who aim to develop independence in all the children they look after.

Mindful of the difficulties he faces due to his low concentration levels, Nettie initially accompanied Nick on his paper round, but he soon built up the confidence to manage the responsibility himself and has proved really conscientious.

The 24-year-old's success has in turn bolstered his self-belief and he now has a second part-time job in a café at Theatre Clwyd and works on a voluntary basis once a week at the Kim Cafe at Mold Crown Court, part of the Kim Social Enterprise Project. He is looking forward to resuming these roles once restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic are lifted.

Nettie explained that when Nick first came to her family he had just lost his mum and was a very shy and hyperactive child. She added that he has matured amazingly, and is now a stable young man, who has gained a lot of confidence through working in the local community. All the locals look out for him and he’s well known in the community.

She said: “Nick is always content and lives for today. He brings so much joy – everyone needs one of him in their life!”

“Some people may think you foster because you can’t have children of your own; I have my own grown-up children and lots of grandchildren, but fostering was something I just knew I had to do. We give them love in bundles – and we always get it back.”

To Nettie, fostering is all about nurturing young people and caring for them like only a mum can.

This was reinforced when Nick gave her the most wonderful card for Mothers Day this year, and when he comes out with touching comments such as “I know you’re not my mum and dad but you are the only parents I’ve ever had”.

Nettie added “As foster carers we get a tremendous feeling of satisfaction from treating the children as our own, even though we know they are not. We just try and give the children opportunities to enjoy a warm and loving family life.

“Our reward is happy, loving young people and the satisfaction of knowing we have done a good job.”

Nettie and Tony are justifiably proud of Nick’s achievements and when he turned 18, the age children frequently leave foster care to live independently, the couple fought for five years for a “Continuous Care Order” to allow him to stay with them.

The married couple, who have grown-up birth children, have been foster carers with Fostering Solutions North Wales – an independent fostering agency that belongs to the UK’s largest fostering family, the National Fostering Group - for more than 15 years. They have looked after numerous children and currently have in placement a little girl who has additional needs.

To find out more about making a similar difference to the lives of vulnerable children and young people in your local community by becoming a foster carer, visit https://www.nfa.co.uk/enquire-now/

*a different name has been used for privacy purposes