Foster carers from across Lancashire who have looked after children for many years have been honoured with a lunch at County Hall.
The celebration, held yesterday (Wednesday 13 February), was attended by foster carers from across Lancashire, county councillors and senior officers.
These foster carers have all been fostering for at least 15 years, caring for more than 750 children in total during this time.
The foster carers who attended the lunch were:
Alison and Arthur Poulter from Skelmersdale, who have been foster carers for 26 years and have fostered over 50 children.
Susan Ewens and Brett Steven from Burnley, who have been foster carers for 15 years and have fostered nine children.
Gillian and Peter Blackwell from Leyland, who have been foster carers for 19 years and have fostered 18 children.
Christine and Harry Gregoire from Carnforth, who have been foster carers for over 30 years and have fostered 200 children.
Kath and Pat Miller from Poulton-le Fylde area, who have been foster carers for over 18 years and fostered four children.
County Councillor Susie Charles, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Schools, attended the event. She said: “It is such a pleasure to have the opportunity to be able to recognise the incredible efforts made by our foster carers.
“All of our foster carers work tirelessly to improve the lives of looked after children in Lancashire. The importance of the work they do is much appreciated by us all. Being able to hold this lunch gave us a chance to meet the foster carers and to thank them. It also gave us the opportunity to mark the length of time that some of our foster carers have carried out this incredibly important role.
“For many years now they have all opened up their hearts and their homes to provide children with a secure and loving place to live, and they make a massive difference in improving children’s lives each day. I’d like to offer my personal thanks to each one of them, including those who unfortunately weren’t able to attend the celebration yesterday.”
County Councillor Anne Cheetham, Chairman of the county council, hosted the lunch. She said: “I was a foster carer myself for 11 years, so it was a great pleasure for me to be able to host a lunch to honour the foster carers and to recognise the important role they do. I enjoyed spending time with them, and having the opportunity to personally thank some of them for their incredible contribution.
“Fostering is such a tremendous thing to do, as it gives children the opportunity for the childhood that they deserve, a childhood that otherwise they may not have had. I’d like to say a personal thank you to all our foster carers.”
The county council is currently recruiting new people who can foster all ages of children, particularly siblings who need to stay together and older children. No formal experience or qualifications are needed, all that is required is a spare room and the desire to make a difference to a local child’s life.
A package of support is available 24/7 to help foster carers in their role, including local support groups, their own social worker, a dedicated helpline and flexible training.
If you want to find out more, call the fostering recruitment team on 0300 123 6723 or visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/fostering