Fostering made nice and easy

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In these days of gloom and doom that a general recession brings to most of us I wanted to tell your readers a happy and incredibly worthwhile story.

I have just become an approved Barnardo’s foster carer.

How cool is that? It didn’t take very long and now I can’t wait to begin a whole new way of life.

I first wondered about becoming a foster carer a number of years ago but, like so many people, though it would be a good thing to do but never looked any further into it because of work, time pressures...all the usual excuses.

However the recession gave me time and having taken a number of deep breaths I used it to access what was important to me. Hence my application to some very approachable people.

Why Barnardo’s? Well they are a well established charity that has been making a difference to children in the North West for well over 30 years.

I was confident they would be there for both myself and any foster children I may have.

During my initial enquiries they were happy to answer any questions without any commitment.

Having made that commitment I embarked on their initial training course, which turned out to be very enjoyable and sociable with lots of like-minded people.

Then came the one-to-one interviews, usually one a week over a few weeks.

I had a brilliant social worker visiting me, called Julie, and she explained fully what we needed to discuss along with the progress of my application, very informally over a brew. She was available in between meetings for concerns I may have had and made the experience very positive

Finally a few months down the line my application went to a group of experts. And now I am approved!

I have a number of supportive training courses to go on and depending on the foster children I have I will be offered further relevant training for as long as I am part of the Barnardo’s team.

Can I urge anyone who thinks they would be a good foster carer, but haven’t had the time to look into it, to pick up the phone and ring 0845 8949509, or visit www.barnardos.org.uk/fostering?

Bernadette, (full name and address supplied)

Help our blooming great nurses

As a local Marie Curie fund-raiser, I would like to invite everyone in Lancashire to hold a Blooming Great Tea Party for Marie Curie Cancer Care this summer.

Whether it’s a gathering of friends for a cuppa, afternoon tea or a garden party to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee, this is a great way to get together with friends and family and raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

The money will allow Marie Curie Nurses to provide more free care to people with terminal cancer and other illnesses, enabling them to spend their final weeks, days or hours in their own homes in familiar surroundings with family and friends close by.

To hold a party and receive a free fund-raising pack call 08700 340 040 or visit www.mariecurie.org.uk/teaparty.

Elaine Bamford, via email