Selfless foster mother made MBE at Buckingham Palace ceremony
- Credit: PA Archive/PA Images
A foster mother received a rare moment in the limelight as she was made an MBE for three decades of devoted care-giving.
Fifty-six-year-old Amanda Piper attended a special ceremony on February 1 at Buckingham Palace, where she was joined by a host of other recipients who have also made significant contributions in their communities.
Mrs Piper, who lives in Beccles, has been a foster mother for children with disabilities for around 30 years. The severity of their disabilities means that constant care and supervision - not to mention frequent trips to various hospitals - are a necessity.
The children she cares for usually stay with her on a long-term basis and she now has four adopted children, all of which have additional needs.
Although she takes the daily difficulties of providing foster care in her stride, Mrs Piper confessed that the build-up to her big moment was a tense affair, but the presence of other community heroes put her at ease.
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“I was extremely nervous, I must admit,” said Mrs Piper. “First of all you go into a big room where there are lots of other people who are being honoured.
“It was really nice to be able to chat with them and discuss why they’re being recognised. There was one lady who was 85-years-old and is a world champion table tennis player - she’s about to compete in Las Vegas!”
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Having been chaperoned from room to room in typically regimented fashion, Mrs Piper was officially appointed as an MBE by Prince Charles himself.
Her son and daughter were there to witness the joyous occasion but, somewhat unsurprinsgly, their mother kept her feet firmly planted on the ground.
“Prince Charles was a lovely man,” added Mrs Piper. “He was incredibly nice and very talkative; he took great interest in my life.
“My family are very proud of me, but then again my parents were foster carers and my daughter has taken it on too, and there are plenty of others who deserve plaudits.
“We made the most of the trip and stayed down in London for a couple of nights because we really don’t get to do things like that very often.”