Today (18 March) Somerset foster carers and Somerset County Council staff took part in a ‘flash mob’ in the heart of Taunton to raise awareness of the need for more foster carers in the county.

Joined by Taunton community choir ‘Company of Voices’, the group sang Bill Withers’ classic song ‘Lean on Me’ to highlight the support foster carers provide day in, day out to hundreds of children across the county.

The choir were captured on film singing the poignant lyrics in the town centre: Insert link to short film.

Julian Wooster, Director at Somerset County Council for Children and Families, said: “As the song says ‘we all need somebody to lean on’. Children in care need someone to listen to them, someone to comfort them and someone to be there for them. Foster carers provide this much needed support and make a really positive difference to the lives of children every day. By having someone to lean on, children in care can thrive, be happy and achieve their aspirations in life.

“We currently have around 500 children in care. We need more people to offer vulnerable children a home, support and a family in Somerset. If you feel inspired by the choir’s performance please do get in touch,

call us on 0800 587 9900, visit our website www.fosteradoptsomerset.org.uk or come to our next information event.”

Foster carer, Trish Moss-Williams, sang in the choir, she said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of this fantastic event to promote fostering.

“My husband and I became foster carers because we wanted to show children of all ages that there are people out there who really care. We wanted to make a difference to children’s lives, no matter how big or small, and make lasting lovely memories that hopefully will last a life time.

“We have fostered 28 children, short term and for respite. Each and every child we have fostered is unique and very special. Some of them have huge issues to overcome. We see for ourselves that with tender, loving care and patience they begin to trust and changes begin to happen. They slowly begin to feel valued and special, they find a feeling of self-worth. It is so wonderful to see a child grow, become more confident and to watch them shine.

“We always to try to make the children’s time with us enjoyable and fun. We bring adventure and learning into their lives, spending most of our time outdoors walking, building dens, hunting goats, paddling in streams and walks in the dark with torches looking at the stars. We know the children love this as they ask to do the same on each respite visit. Our adventures help to build trust, it helps a child to heal, creating lovely memories. We do this because we care and we know we can make a difference.

“I have a special place for each child in my heart and they will never be forgotten, our door is always open. Fostering is so rewarding and we feel very privileged to be foster carers.”

Claire Anstee, A Company of Voices Choir Leader, said: “It was wonderful to be part of this fun fostering event. The choir members have all really enjoyed learning the song and we have loved having foster carers and council staff members to sing with us. I really hope that we have helped to get more people thinking about fostering.

“Our choir is a true community choir – fun, relaxed and sociable with no auditions and we always welcome new members. If you have been inspired to get singing please find out more about the choir at www.companyofvoices.co.uk. The first session is free to try.”

To find out more about fostering, please phone our friendly, professional team on 0800 587 9900, visit www.fosteradoptsomerset.org.uk, ‘like’ the Fostering in Somerset Facebook page or follow @fostersomerset on Twitter.

Regular information events take place across the county. The next dates are:

Thursday 20 April at Costa Coffee in Yeovil (BA20 1LE) from 7 to 9pm.

Wednesday 10 May at Costa Coffee in Taunton (TA1 1JW) from 7 to 9pm.

Find all future information event dates here: www.fosteradoptsomerset.org.uk/events