Council recognises hard work of local people

Foster carer Hazel Singleton (right) with her daughter Adele Lightholler, who she fostered and is now a foster carer herself.
Foster carer Hazel Singleton (right) with her daughter Adele Lightholler, who she fostered and is now a foster carer herself.
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A LOVING family home gave Adele Lightholler the chance she needed for a better life.

And now she is passing on that gift to another generation of children – by being a foster parent herself.

Adele and her foster mum Hazel Singleton were among 30 Blackpool Council foster parents who were recognised for their hard work at a ceremony at Blackpool Town Hall.

The council is appealing for more potential foster parents in a bid to help bring down the high number of resort children living in care.

Fostering is seen as vital in the battle against family breakdown because it provides a temporary shelter during times of crisis.

Mrs Singleton, 65, and her husband John, have fostered more than 130 children since 1972.

She said: “We were trying for a family and nothing happened so we decided to foster.

“We adopted the first two siblings we had, then a baby, and then I got pregnant, but we carried on fostering.

“There are hard times when things don’t go right, but Adele and the other children we have had have all done really well and that makes it all worthwhile.”

Adele, now 32, had lived in a children’s home from the age of five until 10, before being placed with Hazel and John.

Now married to Shaun, the couple have their own four-year-old and are currently looking after two foster children, aged five and six.

Adele said; “Because of the care I received, I always said when I was in a position to do so, I would foster.

“Because I have been there, I can relate it to my own experience. I know how the children are feeling. Everyone deserves a family life.”

Blackpool currently has 145 foster families looking after 265 children.

But the council wants to recruit 25 new families over the next year.

Blackpool Council cabinet member for children’s services, Coun Sarah Riding, said: “Foster carers do a wonderful job. I would urge anyone who feels they can offer a loving home to children and young people to please come and find out more at one of our special information days.”

The next information day about fostering and adoption will take place at Progress House on November 5 from 5.30pm until 7.30pm. To find out more about fostering, contact (01253) 477888.

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