Two half brothers’ happy memories of a simple trip to Fleetwood beach are being used as part of a call for more foster carers.
Fylde foster carers Karen and Andrew have told how the day trip changed the lives of the two boys, aged four and nine, they were looking after.
The couple have been foster carers for the last two years.
Karen, 49, said: “I’ll never forget the shrieks of delight, followed by furious, happy, jumping up and down on the spot with excitement when my husband and I asked them, ‘Who fancies going to Fleetwood beach?’
“There was a huge buzz of excitement in the packed car and questions came fast and furious as we travelled: ‘Why were there waves on the sea?’; ‘What did the word ‘tide’ mean? Was the water really cold?’
“The boys couldn’t remember going to the seaside before, so their faces were an absolute picture when they saw the sea for the first time.
“A happy day was spent exploring, digging in the sand and having a picnic.
“A trip in the car and a simple packed lunch had provided these wonderful boys, and us, with memories that would stay with them for the rest of their lives.”
The couple’s story is being used by Lancashire County Council as part of a campaign to encourage more people to become foster carers.
County Coun Matthew Tomlinson, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “We are asking people to make happy memories for our children this summer and beyond by being one of our foster carers.
“Everyone remembers that special day out or memorable holiday but many of our children will not yet have experienced these special things in life, which we often take for granted.
“We are looking for families who can offer a home to a child for as long as they need it. This could be for newborn babies or teenagers, and sometimes there are brothers and sisters we want to keep together.
“Our foster carers have told me that it’s the best job in the world, and when I hear their stories, I can see why they love what they do.”
Karen added: “What an amazing adventure this has been for all of us as a fostering family: we all look forward to sharing our lives with these two lovely children; always being there for them and always giving the support, safety and love that all children deserve.”
No qualifications are needed to be a foster carer, anyone interested needs to be over 21 and have a spare room in their home.
n Call 0800 195 1183 or visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/fostering