Local Community News


lyndabellinghamDame Joan Collins, Andy Serkis and the late Lynda Bellingham are among stars who have released candid photos of themselves as adolescents to help launch Barnardo’s new campaign to recruit more foster carers in the UK.

A number of personalities have sent through informal snaps of themselves in their teen years. They include I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here winner Christopher Biggins in hippy garb, Geordie Shore’s Charlotte Crosby pulling a funny face and the late Lynda Bellingham playing Puck in a teenage production of A Midsummer’s Night Dream.

The celebs have also shared pearls of wisdom passed down by their family for Barnardo’s Fostering Week 2015 which launched on Friday. Along with her poignant photo, the late Lynda Bellingham’s husband Michael Pattemore reveals that Lynda’s motto was always ‘Live Life to the Full’.  He says Lynda’s maxim, is the best advice you could give any young person.

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Barnardo’s is looking to recruit 500 foster carers in 2015 to help address a shortfall of 8,600 carers nationally, with 925 needed in the South East. The charity is asking members of the public to consider becoming foster carers and help create happy childhood memories for some of the most vulnerable children in the UK.

Barnardo’s is urging people to tweet their favourite teen photo and best advice received using #WhyFoster to support @barnardos Fostering & Adoption Week.

There is no upper age limit although there is a minimum age of 21. Barnardo’s does not exclude anyone from consideration on the grounds of marital status, gender, sexual orientation, disability or employment status. Barnardo’s is keen to speak to individuals from the BME and LGBT communities who are interested in fostering.

Barnardo’s CEO Javed Khan said:

“Most of us can remember the advice and support we received from our family growing up. Without the right foster family to care for them, many vulnerable children may never experience the kind of love and stability we take for granted.

“Currently a third of all children in foster care are moved between different families more than twice every year due to the lack of suitable foster carers. The number of children in the care system in the UK has risen for the 7th year in a row to more than 90,000 and at least 8,600 new foster carers are needed in the UK.

“It is a critical situation and Barnardo’s is looking for people with patience and commitment to provide a stable home for the most vulnerable children in the UK. Fostering is a caring career and I would encourage those who feel they have a lot of love to give to get in touch.”

To find out more about fostering visit www.barnardos.org.uk/fostering or call 08000 277 280

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