Meet Hanora McCool

I started out my childcare journey as a registered childminder.

I would often see ads in the newspaper looking for foster carers and always considered this as an option. We used to have support groups for childminders and the fostering recruitment were giving a speech about becoming foster carers, on that same day I put my name forward and my journey began. 

I have now been a foster carer for 35 years with over 214 placements. I have cared for children from all different backgrounds, from short-term placements to long-term and even in an emergency. 

At the time I started fostering my youngest child was 8 and so it felt best to foster children under this age. My children were very excited to welcome another child into the home and I saw this as a great opportunity to provide a loving and nurturing environment to a child. 

Since being a foster carer, I have adopted twice and both my children are now living independently and very settled in their own lives.

Being able to extend my family and open my home to so many children feels like a great honour. I am proud to have made a difference in so many children’s lives.

Most recently, I had a young person reach out to me through Facebook. She had been looking through her files and found an old picture of me holding her as a baby.

After some digging in my old diaries, I found some information I had written down about her. It turns out I cared for this young person for 5 days 27 years ago! She had informed me that she was happily adopted and simply wanted to thank me. 

It is situations like this that make fostering all worthwhile. Sometimes all children need is a loving home and as they get older, they tend to appreciate the dedication and support you give them.

Changing lives

Hanora was recently surprised on Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, with a trip to Florida to thank her for all her hard work.

Transcript for H&F foster carer surprised by Ant and Dec

[Crazy What Love Can Do by Becky Hill is playing and the audience is clapping as Dec comes down the aisle way]

Now next up, coming down the stairs because we're coming to you!

[Dec stops and turns to point at audience member]

Hanora McCool.

[Hanora has a surprised look on her face and smile]

Now Honora here has been fostering children for more than 3 decades and over the past 35 years she's fostered more than 240 children.

[Audience cheers]

Hanora, I know where you've changed hundreds of people's lives.

But take a look back there because some of those children would like to say hello and thank you.

Stand up if you've been fostered by Hanora.

[10 audience members sitting at the back of the crowd stand up and start waving]

Look at that!

Hanora, you're an amazing amazing person, you deserve a place on the plane!

[Dec hands Hanora a large golden ticket and gives her a hug]

[Cheers and applause from the crowd]

Could you become a foster carer and change a child’s life?