Jean Jeffery says she and her husband were “absolutely gobsmacked” when they were told they’d have a tram named after them
Foster parents who have given a home to 200 children and young people say they’ll be enjoying the benefits of making their way around the city on a tram emblazoned with both their names.
Born and bred in Nottingham, Jean and Tim Jeffery, of Lenton, were honoured for their work within the community on March 9 with a tram named after them for the next 12 months as part of NET’s birthday celebrations.
Mrs Jeffery, a retired nurse, and her husband, a former sewing machine mechanic, were recognised for their years of selfless hard work after being put forward for the honour by the Rainbow Parents Forum charity, which promotes and supports the wellbeing of families and carers of disabled children.
The couple, who have been married for 29 years, were named NET Community Star Award winners in a competition organised in partnership with Nottingham Community and Voluntary Service (NCVS).
They were announced as the winners during an event at the Albert Hall in November, where Mrs Jeffery said that she and her husband were completely shocked when they found out they’d been chosen to have their names printed on the side of a tram.
“We were absolutely gobsmacked when we found out,” Mrs Jeffery, who has fostered children for 45 years, said.
“It was very overwhelming and made us feel very humbled. Our family and friends were over the moon. It was very unexpected. We couldn’t believe it.”
Mr and Mrs Jeffery are also avid tram users, which she said only makes the honour that much more special.
“Living in Lenton we always use the tram,” she added. “We really use it a lot, so now we’re always going to be looking out for our tram and trying to catch the one with our name on it when we can.”
“Because we already use the team so often, it makes this even more special.”
In addition to their tireless work as foster parents, the couple were also recognised for their contribution to a weekly support group where they share their experiences with others in the foster care system, promoting a sense of community.
Though Mrs Jeffery no longer fosters children after retiring four years ago, she said that she has no plans to give up her tireless work helping others.
“The most rewarding part is seeing the children go to their forever homes,” she said. “We go through a grieving process when the children leave, but we always keep in touch.”
And she said she wants to continue doing community work.
“It’s something I always want to support,” she said. “I have to do something.”
Stephanie Moss-Pearce, NET Marketing Manager, added that the couple “are worthy winners” of the award, which was presented to them by the current holders of the honour, the founders of the Forever Stars charity, Richard and Michelle Daniels.
“It’s fantastic seeing them handing over the baton to Tim and Jean who have done so much to give so many children and young people a better start in life,” Ms Moss-Pearce said.
“The tram named after them will provide a constant reminder of their work and the selfless dedication shown by so many people in our amazing city.”