Foster carer from Murrow urges others to help young people as part of national Foster Care Fortnight
PUBLISHED: 11:53 12 May 2014 | UPDATED: 11:53 12 May 2014
A former Cambridgeshire chef who swapped the heat of the kitchen for life as a foster carer has urged more people to take on the role as she backs a national campaign to recruit more people into fostering.
Sharon Kennelly, 43, from Murrow, made the plea for more people to meet a shortfall of 650 carers in the East of England during Foster Care Fortnight, which runs from May 12-25.
Sharon became a foster carer with the UK’s leading independent fostering agency, Foster Care Associates (FCA), in November last year and has already seen her life transformed for the better.
She said: “It is the first time I have fostered. My husband David and I had chosen not to have our own children but still felt we could offer something to young people in need so decided to go into fostering.
“I have really thrown myself into it. I absorb a lot of stuff and get on with people very quickly so I decided to become a carer representative for my region which I am really enjoying.
“FCA has offered fantastic support and training – I really can’t fault them.”
One of the aims of this year’s Foster Care Fortnight, organised by charity the Fostering Network, is to dispel myths about who can foster and show that people from a wide variety of backgrounds can bring many different skills and qualities to the role.
To mark Foster Care Fortnight, FCA is holding a car rally with 10 emblazoned Fiat 500s visiting 10 locations in 10 days across the UK.
The rally reaches Peterborough on Friday May 16 when the FCA staff will be at the Serpentine Green Shopping Centre between 10am and 3pm to talk to people about fostering and offering advice and guidance about taking the next step.
FCA ambassador, the ex-England football captain and foster carer Mark Wright, will also be attendance to speak to the public about his fostering journey, as will Sharon.
If you think you have the patience, commitment and enthusiasm to foster a child or young person, have a spare bedroom and a willingness to learn, contact FCA on 0800 023 4561 or visit www.thefca.co.uk. Alternatively like FCA on Facebook by visiting www.facebook.com/thefcaeastern
FCA welcomes applications from single people, married and co-habiting couples and same sex couples.