I was a foster carer and cared for 25 new babies and it was the best job in the world

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One couple have cared for around 25 newborn babies

Blackpool Tower is set to turn pink in recognition of the hard work of foster carers in transforming children's lives.

The attraction will be lit up as part of events to mark Foster Care Fortnight between May 13 and 26 to raise awareness around fostering.

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In Blackpool, there are currently around 265 children and young people in the care of an independent fostering agency (IFA) or in residential care, some of whom are awaiting a loving foster home.

Michael and Jane Fletcher have spoken of their experience as foster carersMichael and Jane Fletcher have spoken of their experience as foster carers
Michael and Jane Fletcher have spoken of their experience as foster carers | n/a

Jane and Michael Fletcher have recently retired from fostering with the council after 10 years, having cared for around 25 newborn babies during this time.

Jane said: “Foster caring has really changed our lives in a positive way. It is one of the best jobs we have had. In fact, the best job in the world.

“The most rewarding part of fostering was starting to look after the babies when they were very small and seeing them growing up. Some of the foster children have stayed in touch – it feels like having over 20 grandchildren!

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“There have been so many memorable experiences, it’s hard to name just one. However, within the last year or two, the first little boy who we fostered came back to see us. It was lovely to see what a beautiful young boy he had turned into.”

Other events in Blackpool to mark Foster Care Fortnight will include a daily raffle giving the council’s foster carers chance to win prizes donated by some of the town’s attractions including free family passes to the Sandcastle Waterpark, Blackpool Zoo, and The Backlot Cinema.

Blackpool Tower will glow pink to mark Foster Care FortnightBlackpool Tower will glow pink to mark Foster Care Fortnight
Blackpool Tower will glow pink to mark Foster Care Fortnight | National World

The council’s fostering team and foster carers will also take part in a walk along the Promenade on Thursday, May 16 before being treated to tea and cake at the Solaris Centre.

They will then be encouraged to share some heart-warming stories from their fostering journeys in keeping with the ‘fostering moments’ theme for Foster Care Fortnight 2024, which focuses on the everyday interactions that make a lasting impact.

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Blackpool Council is one of five local authorities benefiting from £1.2m to boost foster carer recruitment in the region with a new foster carer recruitment hub due to be launched this spring.

To find out more about fostering, visit www.blackpool.gov.uk/fostering or call 01253 420222.

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