Fife’s inspirational woman is a STAR

Karen, right, was one of three women up for the award.
Karen, right, was one of three women up for the award.

The founder of a organisation which reunites brothers and sisters who have been separated was “speechless” when she walked into her farm kitchen to find a TV crew.

Karen Morrison, from Siblings Reunited (STAR), was unaware that Gaby Roslin from ITV’s Lorraine was waiting, along with a number of the charity’s volunteers, to inform her that she was one of the finalists for Inspirational Woman of the Year.

It was the beginning of a whirlwind few days for Karen, one of just three women shortlisted for the awards.

While Karen missed out on the award, she has spoken of the importance of spreading the word about STAR, the only charity of its kind.

“There were around 400 women there and five awards, including the one for us three,” Karen explained. “It’s still not sunk in. It was all very surreal.

“I struggle a bit when it comes under my name. I prefer it when it comes under STAR. I looked at the final as recognition for STAR and the importance of brothers and sisters maintaining that bond.”

The charity was set up five years ago at a farm between Newburgh and Balmerino, providing a space for brothers and sisters separated in the care system, through adoption or Kinship care to have regular contact.

Since launching, more than 300 children have passed through STAR, with around 100 children regularly using the charity at the moment.

With the charity being one of a kind, referrals come from across Scotland – as far as Inverness and Glasgow. Most of the children visit the farm for around two hours per month.

Karen described the north east Fife setting as “therapeutic in its own right”, adding: “The kids get to help with the animals, plant their own food. We’re just trying to help keep siblings together.”

MP Stephen Gethins said he was “delighted” for STAR and Karen. He added: “STAR is a fantastic charity and I know Karen is an absolute inspiration.”

To find out more information about STAR or see Karen being surprised with the nomination, search for Siblings Reunited on Facebook.