Just a few weeks ago Cardiff was buzzing with excitement as the beloved two-time Olympic medallist and fostering advocate Fatima Whitbread, MBE, joined the community for Foster Walk Cardiff 2024. The event, set in the beautiful surroundings of Bute Park and Cardiff Castle, was a highlight of Foster Care Fortnight™, celebrating the incredible fostering community in Wales and encouraging more people to become foster carers.

With over 7,000 young people in care in Wales but only 3,800 foster families, this event couldn’t have been more timely. Fatima, who grew up in care herself, has been passionately campaigning for more people to step up and offer their homes and hearts to children in need.

In the lead-up to the event Fatima said, ‘This Foster Care Fortnight I am joining foster families, fostering services, supporters and friends on Foster Walks around the UK, helping to raise funds for The Fostering Network. I know change is possible when people come together to work for a shared vision.’

Participants enjoyed a scenic walk through Bute Park, past the majestic Cardiff Castle, and into the lively city centre, ending with delicious refreshments from John Lewis, one of the capital’s Fostering Friendly businesses. This Cardiff walk was just one of many happening across the UK, all aimed at raising awareness and celebrating the difference fostering makes.

Adding a culinary flourish to the celebrations, Fatima shared her favourite family cottage pie recipe in Foster Wales’ new celeb-backed cookbook, Bring Something to the Table. This cookbook, filled with real-life fostering moments and recipes, hopes to inspire more people to become foster carers. 

Alastair Cope, head of Foster Wales, expressed his thanks to Fatima for her vital role in raising awareness, adding: ‘Across Wales, our local teams are celebrating Foster Care Fortnight, through events and initiatives which are helping to bust the myths around young people in care and who can be a foster carer.  

‘We want people to know that local authority fostering is flexible, inclusive, and comes with extensive training and professional development opportunities. We’re urging anyone who is considering becoming a foster carer to get in touch with your local authority today.’

To learn more about becoming a foster carer in Wales, visit fosterwales.gov.wales.

Foster Care Fortnight™, The Fostering Network’s annual campaign, raises the profile of fostering and shows how it transforms lives. This year’s theme, #FosteringMoments, celebrated the profound impact of fostering.Find out more about The Fostering Network at thefosteringnetwork.org.uk

Author WCS

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