Birdie: Mother of 850
This is the fascinating story of ‘super-mum’ Birdie MacDonald, who has fostered more than 850 children since 1973.
Birdie MacDonald has kept a spare room ready, with the bed made, for 35 years, and it’s had a lot of use. In 1973, Birdie saw an advert on TV from Brent Council, calling for Afro-Caribbean adults to adopt Afro-Caribbean children. Birdie had 3 children of her own, but she had always wanted more. She scribbled down the address and applied. Brent convinced her to try fostering instead. Since that day, until she retired in December 2009, Birdie has been mum, grandma or Birdie to more children than she could ever have imagined.
Tom Templeton tells Birdie’s fascinating story, weaving together her childhood in Jamaica with the stories of 8 of the children she has fostered along the way, now all adults and some with children of their own. This is a mesmerising portrait of one remarkable woman and the hundreds of children she offered a home to; as well as a snapshot of more than 35 years of immigration into Britain and a look behind the scenes at our social care system.