“When we took foster children to the beach for the first time they just froze, they’d never seen sand before. After about ten minutes they absolutely loved it and by the end of the day we couldn’t get them out of the sea!”
Baking together, going to the seaside or enjoying a pantomime are all some of the first special memories foster carers are sharing during Foster Care Fortnight.
Foster Care Fortnight (Monday 8 to Sunday 21 May) highlights more foster carers are needed throughout Somerset to help make a difference to the lives of the 500 children in care in the County.
Dave and Paula Cowler, Somerset based foster carers for 15 years, said: “Children arrive from traumatised backgrounds and you take them to places for the first time whether it’s the beach or a birthday party. When we took foster children to the beach for the first time they just froze, they’d never seen sand before. After about ten minutes they absolutely loved it and by the end of the day we couldn’t get them out of the sea! We’ve now bought them a wetsuit and a body board so they can be like their friends at school and enjoy the sea.”
Tommy Wardle, a former Foster Child, expressed his gratitude to his Foster Carers who he now calls Mum and Dad, for all the special moments they provided during his childhood.
“I’d never been on holiday before and just going to a caravan and getting to be outside exploring the wilderness was amazing” he explained, “even going to the cinema was impressive to me.”
Paula Martin, fostering for 7 years spoke about the joy children express when Foster Carers show interest in them and come to their parents’ evenings and Christmas plays she said: “They’re there scanning the crowd and when they see you they give you the thumbs up. They’re just so excited that someone is there to watch them.”