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Swindon foster carer was a mother to hundreds of youngsters
5:26pm Thursday 18th October 2012 in News
TO hundreds of children across the country, she was a source of shelter, comfort and love.
Beverley Seabrook, who died from a heart condition last week, will be remembered for her boundless devotion to those who received her care over 35 years.
She was rarely seen without at least three children and was a positive influence on more than 350 lives, either through fostering, child minding or arranging trips out.
To some of the children she became a surrogate mum, and for two of her young charges she provided the first ride in a car and the first glimpse of the sea.
Beverley’s husband Alan said: “She gave her absolute love to every single child that walked through the door.
“She would take anybody under her wing and she believed every child had a talent, be it academic, sporting or artistic.
“Beverley believed you just had to find it, whether it meant sitting down and playing the piano or another activity.
“She treated all the children as if they were her own and she always went that extra mile to support them and their families.”
Beverley’s calling in life was to look after children, often reaching to them in dark times, which she did with a ceaseless smile and a well-travelled people carrier, Alan said.
She would also attend parents’ evenings to support a mother or father and visit relatives in hospital if they were too unwell to fulfil their parental role.
Beverley also helped the couple’s biological children Andrew, Clive and Grant, and adopted son, Tony, to reach the top of their respective spheres in life.
When Tony arrived in the Seabrooks’ home aged six months, he weighed just seven pounds and had been given last rites three times.
Doctors predicted he would never walk or talk. Now 25 he has left home and is leading a happy, independent life.
The garden of the Seabrooks’ house in Shaw is testimony to Beverley’s love of flowers and at Christmas her family joked that her decorations resembled the Blackpool illuminations.
Alan, 60, also remembered how she went out of her way to provide a soothing influence on those in her care.
He said: “Beverley took two children to the seaside who had never been in a car and had never seen the sea or touched sand before.
“She was like a ray of sunshine in their lives, and to some of the children she became a surrogate mum.
“They have not forgotten her and since she passed away we have had 153 emails from all over the UK and people travelling from all over Europe for the funeral.”
Beverley suffered sight problems this year and became involved with Swindon BATS, a charity for people with no or only partial sight.
She was also well known on the ice skating circuit through Alan’s three-year stint as president of the National Ice Skating Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and their son Andrew’s triumphs in British and European championships.
“Beverley filled her life totally,” said Alan. “There was never any space in her diary and 90 per cent of the time she would be giving to other people, whether it was children or BATS.”
Beverley died aged 58 on October 8, also leaving behind grandchildren Nyle and Riley.Her funeral will take place on Tuesday from noon at Kingsdown Crematorium.
A celebration of her life will be held afterwards at the Sun Inn in Lydiard Millicent.
Flowers or donations to Swindon BATS can be made via Maslin funeral service on 01793 848700.