Community Group of the Year nominee – Foster Carers Association
Run by carers for carers, the Foster Carers Association supports foster families across Stoke-on-Trent.
Led by long-term foster carers Sue and Bob Yeo, the group organises days out and events as well as offering support and advice.
“As a group we are there to support people at any time of the day or night,” said Sue. “It’s peer support because not all foster carers want to talk to a social worker.”
Sue, Bob and their fellow committee members are all unpaid volunteers who run the FCA as a not-for-profit rather than a charity.
“We recently had a fun day for 270 people and we’re organising a day trip to Blackpool Air Show,” added Sue. “Every penny that comes in goes back out again.”
The Foster Carers Association has been nominated as a Community Group of the Year in the Your Heroes Awards by Marie Plant, Fostering Recruitment Officer at Stoke-on-Trent City Council.
She said: “They tirelessly raise money each year so that they can deliver amazing days out. This includes an Easter Party, Summer Fun Day with bouncy castles, climbing walks, entertainers, food, reptiles and much much more. There’s a Halloween Party and Christmas Party and at every party all of the decorations and food is provided. There is also a children’s entertainer, fancy dress, tattoos, face painting, disco and much more.
“These events are a safe place for looked after children and we have more than 1,000 in Stoke-on-Trent alone. All events are open to foster carers’ own children and extended family too.
“It’s a safe place where no children will be judged or frowned upon, as many of our children struggle with emotions and struggle to understand social protocol.
“Alongside this they also plan trips to Southport, Blackpool and Llandudno at a really reduced cost. They also arrange trips for the older children to go tobogganing if they don’t want to go to the Christmas party.
“I cannot stress enough the hours of work that go into planning these events, never mind the amount of work on the day.
“Foster carers are such amazing people. They care for our most vulnerable children and my belief is they need full recognition for the amazing work they do.”