A range of stars offered their support of Foster Care Fortnight™ 2015. Read their messages of support here.
Hollywood actor, star of the Twilight movies, Far from the Madding Crowd and Frost/Nixon, and familiar to TV audiences as Tony Blair, Michael Sheen supported Foster Care Fortnight 2015.
"Each day 55,000 unassuming families wake up, get dressed, and set about making life better for 64,000 children. They’re the everyday heroes who are changing the world for the fostered children who are living with them.
All children deserve a childhood. Foster carers give them the chance to experience this, and so much more. But this year alone we need thousands more foster families so that we can make sure that every child can have loving and caring foster carers to meet each child’s unique needs.
All of society should be hugely ambitious for the children living in foster care, so I hope this year you look into your heart and see whether you have the skills and qualities that foster carers need to change the lives of the children living in foster care."
Gareth Gates, long-term supporter of The Fostering Network, multi-million record seller, and the son of foster carers took time out of his hectic touring schedule to say:
"I know the real benefit that fostering can bring to children who can’t live with their own family. It has always been a huge part of my family life, and I have been lucky enough to see many children grow into strong and independent young people. My parents have been fostering since I was a little boy, so as well as my three sisters, I have many more foster brothers and sisters.
While it wasn’t always easy, my parents provided love and stability to many less fortunate children and brought them into our family. I’d always want my family to give those children a chance if we had our time again. It's a huge decision and of course it isn't for everyone but it's incredibly rewarding. I know that it's not only changed the lives of the kids who've spent some time in our family over the years but also mine and my sisters’.
The arts provide an outlet for expression, and one I am thankful for... We focus very much on the academic education of young people in care, but we can’t forget their creative education. Speaking personally, music was an important outlet for me as a child with a stammer – I don’t know where I would be without it. Within the secure family environment provided by foster carers, children should be free to express, and we should be willing to listen to what they have to say. There are so many gifts you can give to a child if you make a connection to fostering this Foster Care Fortnight."
Award-winning author, and creator of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson continued her long-time relationship with The Fostering Network by supporting Foster Care Fortnight again during 2015.
"I am proud to be supporting The Fostering Network and Foster Care Fortnight 2015. I hope that if you've ever considered fostering before, you will make this the year you make that life-changing decision. Think about it, talk about it, and apply to become a foster carer - and if you haven't considered it before this could be a wonderful new direction for your future, a remarkable and special profession.
For years I looked after Tracy Beaker in her special world, and through her have met lots of wonderful children, and know of thousands of others living in Tracy's situation in real life. They all need those special foster carers to step forward - just like Cam - and help them through their childhoods and beyond. There is always a need for people ready to open their hearts and their homes."
There is nothing more special or worthwhile than positively changing the life of a child."
Gabby Logan, television presenter and journalist, is a long-time supporter of The Fostering Network’s Foster Care Fortnight™ campaign.
"Foster carers are incredible people who dedicate their lives to vulnerable children, but throughout the country there are still many teenagers, disabled children and sibling groups who need a loving home. I am always proud to support The Fostering Network's Foster Care Fortnight campaign, because I am always proud to support foster carers and the work that they do for our society.
If you think you have the skills to make a difference to the life of a child and help to ensure that they are on a positive path in life, contact your local fostering service this Foster Care Fortnight."
Celebrity baker, television personality and the first government fostering ambassador in England, Lorraine Pascale has thrown her support behind Foster Care Fortnight.
"This Foster Care Fortnight I want people to know that great foster carers can make a real and permanent positive difference to the lives of children in care, just like the ones who helped me when I needed someone to be there for me the most.
Growing up in, and around, the care system isn't easy, but if you choose to use your skills and experience to provide a loving home for a child, then you can change lives, for the better, forever.
Because people like you believed in me, and supported me, I grew up in foster care and I am a proud care leaver. As a foster carer you’ll be able to support people like me as they develop their dreams and then go for them. If you think you can be there for some of the UK's most amazing children then go on, I urge you, consider becoming a foster carer."
And these four famous sport stars added their support to Foster Care Fortnight 2015:
Sir Steve Redgrave Sir Matthew Pinsent Mike Tindall MBE Darren Clarke OBE