Chloe, who fosters for Chryalis Care, has written about her journey from childhood, to foster care, and onto the toughest challenge around - the Tough Mudder!
"From an early age I have been around looked after children as our close family friends were foster carers, and I always made time for the foster children I came into contact with. As an adult I have chosen a career path in which I have been very fortunate to work with children and young people in educational settings. Last year I decided to become a respite carer as I recognise and value the work of full time foster carers and I wanted not only to have fun with the children but allow the foster carers to have some much needed down time.
"This last year fostering with Chrysalis Consortium has been a fantastic learning curve for myself and my partner and we have had some fantastic experiences with the children in our care. Chrysalis is unlike any other agency I know of, it feels like a big family unit in which everyone shares a passion. The support and guidance we have received from our fellow foster carers and staff members has been a vital part of our fostering journey and enabled us to continue when times were tough. The strength, bravery and compassion of foster carers and staff members within the service and how they are shaping children’s lives is truly inspiring. I feel very humbled to be part of such a great team and now realise that support is an integral part of any ones fostering career.
"As a part of the support package foster carers with Chrysalis are given membership to The Fostering Network. The Fostering Network supports foster carers nationally and as a service we come into contact with them quite regularly. As a collective of foster carers and staff we decided we wanted to show our appreciation for all they do and make steps to enable them to continue to support foster families. We racked our brains for a while to find the perfect fundraising opportunity...We thought about the extreme situations the children and young people within our service have endured prior to joining the Chrysalis Family. So as a collective we decided now it was our turn to endure the challenge of Tough Mudder!
"Tough Mudder is an endurance event series in which participants attempt 12-mile long military-style obstacle courses. It tests mental as well as physical strength. We will face our fears in a number of obstacles involving fire, ice, water, electricity and heights. So we can look forward to crawling through mud, being electrocuted, plunging into ice water and scrambling under barbed wire. The main principle of the Tough Mudder revolves around teamwork. Tough Mudder puts camaraderie over finisher rankings and is not a timed race but a team challenge. We are a team of ten people that don’t consider themselves very fit or strong but we are pushing our bodies to the limit to face this challenge in aid of The Fostering Network. As a team of foster carers and fostering team members we will face our challenge on 12th September on the North West Tough Mudder challenge.
"Not only do we hope to complete the challenge and raise lots of money; we hope to inspire others to get out there! Get out of their comfort zone and try and do something amazing! I truly believe that in my fostering career I have met some of the most self-less, kind and incredible people any one could ever wish to meet! Not only are they fostering/working full time they still have the energy and enthusiasm to give something back and fundraise to them others!
"Training has commenced and all of the team members are trying new, weird and wonderful ways to increase their fitness and strength! Myself and Louise have joined the 7am Hot Yoga club, Sarah has started a netball team, Lesley has a pull up bar in her Kitchen, Jack is running with his new puppy and Natalie has joined a boot camp! On top of all of that the team are meeting weekly to train together rain or shine (sometimes in the back garden of the Chrysalis Offices!). Its hard work but definitely a worthwhile cause!"
You can follow their progress on Twitter @ChrysalisConsor
You can support the Chrysalis team by visiting their fundraising page.