Thank you for walking the difference

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The Fostering Network would like to thank everyone who came to Walk the Difference along the River Thames yesterday, and everyone who kindly sponsored and supported the walkers.

We had over 170 people – foster carers, sons and daughters, fostered children, friends and families and even a few pets – take part in the five mile sponsored walk through London, enjoying some unexpected – but glorious - sunshine and I think making some fantastic new friends along the way.

It was the first walk that we have done as a charity, although we have had amazing fundraisers take part in marathons and so on before, and so we were thrilled at the response. It was due to be raining but that didn’t stop anyone. People poured into Whitehall Gardens, adorned with orange, to meet and greet all the other walkers – and after a quick welcome speech from our chief executive Robert Tapsfield, we were off and heading towards Westminster Bridge.

The walk was five miles long and took in some of London’s finest sites, from Big Ben at the beginning of the walk to the beautiful Tower Bridge which marked the end of the walk, and so much in between.

It’s really easy to say that you know why you take part in a charity fundraiser – you want to help the charity to achieve its goals by raising money to help it continue. But as I walked with some amazing foster carers who told me about their experiences over the years, I knew that no matter how much both my feet ached and how much I longingly looked at Tower Bridge and the finishing line in the distance, I had to carry on.

Let’s face it, I could walk a million miles in my own shoes, but I am not sure I could manage a mile in the shoes of the inspirational foster carers I met on the walk.

No one works at the Fostering Network because it’s a job, we do it because we are dedicated to working hard and trying to make life better for children in, or who will come into, foster care, foster carers and foster families all across the UK. We work as hard as we can knowing that there is a whole workforce of 50,000 foster families across the UK every day working even harder to make life better for vulnerable children in foster care.

To our new friends from the day, it was an absolute pleasure to meet you. To our old friends, thank you for your ongoing support. To everyone, we can’t wait to see you next year!

We can’t continue what we do without you, and so to everyone who decided that a windy, cold, and potentially wet, river walk was the best way to spend a Sunday morning in October, we thank you.

From the Fostering Network Laura, Andrew, Phil, Ros and Dominic (me!) walked as a team from the Fostering Network and if you’d like to kindly support us, you still can on our Just Giving page.

If you want to know how else you can support the Fostering Network, please take a look at our fundraising information and if you want to find out how you can get involved in next year’s Walk the Difference, please email fundraising@fostering.net