Superwoman Susan wins inaugural prize

Susan Stenhouse presented with her Todmorden Superwoman winner's prize by competition organiser Rebeka Coverdale.

Susan Stenhouse presented with her Todmorden Superwoman winner's prize by competition organiser Rebeka Coverdale.

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A CARER who has fostered more than 60 children over the past 30 years has been named Todmorden’s Superwoman.

Susan Stenhouse, of Lower Laithe Avenue, Todmorden, was among 25 nominees for the inaugural Todmorden Superwoman award.

After much deliberation, judges selected Susan as the winner in recognition of her lifetime of dedication to young people.

Susan, 61, who describes herself as “boring”, was very surprised to win the competition.

She received a certificate from the judges and a prize of a full body massage courtesy of Thai Bodywork and Massage.

Susan started fostering in her early thirties, specialising in babies going for adoption. “I started doing it because doctors said I couldn’t have children and my husband was too old to adopt,” she said.

Over the next three decades, she went on to foster a total of 65 children. “I found I couldn’t stop,” she said.

“I just had to carry on because they would ring me and tell me about children who were in such terrible circumstances.

“There was a lot of heartbreak but it was great to see them grow up and lead happy lives.”

Susan, who is originally from Middlesbrough but moved to Todmorden when she was 13, has also been a childminder for many years.

Although she was told she could not have children of her own, she went on to prove the diagnosis wrong and now has five grown up children and seven grandchildren.

She has recently retired and is planning to move to the Canary Islands.

Head judge Rebeka Coverdale said: “I was quite astounded when I saw on the nomination how many children she has fostered.

“Not only has she got her own family, she has also looked after all these other children.

“She has dedicated her life to helping children from unfortunate backgrounds and they have gone on to have good lives.

“I think it’s a huge thing for someone to do. The award is very well deserved.”

Rebeka hopes the competition will become an annual event.