In a bid to shine a light on fostering, St Helens Borough Council is launching a week-long campaign to drum up new recruits and celebrate the achievements of current carers who look after some of the borough’s most vulnerable children and young people.
Taking place between 23-28 January, Foster Fest will see a number of videos posted on the council’s social media channels to promote the benefits of fostering, with first-hand accounts from the carers themselves – while members of the council’s fostering team will be out and about at different venues across the borough, including libraries, leisure centres and supermarkets, for anyone wanting more information on how rewarding fostering is.
Foster Fest will be rounded off with a celebration event at Saints’ Totally Wicked Stadium to recognise the many fantastic foster carers registered with St Helens Borough Council who make a huge difference to the lives of so many children and young people every day, with the borough’s iconic Steve Prescott Bridge lit orange throughout the week.
Nadia, a foster carer champion for St Helens Borough Council, has been a registered foster carer for more than eight years.
Nadia said: “If you’ve got the time and the space, as in in your home, but also the space in your heart, to open up to somebody, to a child that needs some security and some nurturing – then I would highly recommend it. It’s not easy but the benefits by far outweigh the difficulties. It’s just incredibly rewarding for the children to get the best chance out of life.
“The children that I have fostered are now moving on – they have done A-Levels, they’re looking forward to going to university. They aspire to be: police officers, a doctor, a teacher, environmental lawyer. I know I have had a part, however small, in helping those children have the best chance at life and I would recommend that to people who are thinking about foster caring – it’s just one of the best jobs out there.”
St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Councillor Nova Charlton, said: “As a corporate parent, the council is responsible for caring for 483 children and young people, but with 194 foster carers over 120 households, we need even more if we’re to provide these youngsters with the loving homes they deserve so that they can achieve their potential.
“We all saw the moving John Lewis advert over Christmas which really pulled on the heartstrings and got people talking – so if you think you can help by fostering a child or young person, I would urge you to get in touch with our fostering team who will support you every step of the way.”
For more information, visit www.sthelens.gov.uk/fostering.