East Renfrewshire Council celebrates foster carers with new exhibition

The exhibition tells the story of six of the region’s foster carers, featuring them at locations where they love to relax.
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To mark the start of Fostering Fortnight (May 15-28), East Renfrewshire Council has unveiled a new exhibition dedicated to the wonderful work of its treasured foster carers.

The photography exhibition, which will appear at venues throughout East Renfrewshire, tells the story of six of the region’s foster carers, featuring them at locations where they love to relax and telling the story of why they foster.   

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Carers in East Renfrewshire provide different types of care for young people – from short breaks to longer placements - and with more young people in need of care every year there is a significant need for more foster carers to come on board.   

Peter and IrenePeter and Irene
Peter and Irene

All six families – who live in either East Renfrewshire or the Greater Glasgow area - have been foster carers for East Renfrewshire Council for a number of years. Ann Marie is the longest-serving carer having looked after children for 23 years. Peter and Irene closely follow with 18 years of care.

Peter said: “We have been lucky to have a healthy, happy family. When it was time for them to move on and start their own adult lives we wanted to give something back and fostering was the perfect way to do that.   

“We started by doing short breaks for children and that quickly evolved into us becoming full-time foster carers. Over the years we’ve had children at all ages and stages of life and all equally as memorable and special as each other. Fostering is not without its challenges – in fact they are daily – but the joy and rewards far outweigh them.”  

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Another carer Lynda, who looks after children with her partner Andy, said: “Being a foster carer has changed our lives for the better. We have built long lasting relationships with all our young people. In fact, not that long ago a birthday card arrived from a young girl who had stayed with us which said ‘I wouldn’t be here without you.’ That really hit home the difference we are making and reminded us that this isn’t just a vocation – it’s a calling in life.”  

Lynda and AndyLynda and Andy
Lynda and Andy

The exhibition will run until mid-July and will pop up in a variety of locations across East Renfrewshire. Kicking off at the Foundry on Barrhead Main Street, the exhibition will also appear at Morrisons supermarket in Giffnock, Clarkston Hall, Netherlee Pavilion and Montgomery Hall in Eaglesham. 

The exhibition follows the launch of an advertising campaign across East Renfrewshire at the start of the year, when people regardless of background were invited to consider fostering as a way of making a real difference to a young person’s life.  

Cllr Katie Pragnell, Convener for Health & Social Care at East Renfrewshire Council, said: “Fostering is a wonderful service that remarkable people provide for a young person in need of a secure and nurturing environment in their lives.

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“The carers featured in this touring exhibition give an insight into what motivates people to make a difference to the lives of others, and the challenges and rewards of fostering. East Renfrewshire Council is actively encouraging more people from different backgrounds to provide a whole range of fostering placements, whether short-term or for longer periods.

“We think the stories of the carers in this exhibition will help raise the profile of fostering at the start of Fostering Fortnight when the service is given deserved recognition and celebrated.”

For further information on becoming a foster carer for East Renfrewshire Council and a schedule of locations for the exhibition visit https://www.eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk/fostering.

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