Young volunteers are helping to sow the seeds of change.
Youngsters from VODA’s National Citizen Service programmes are taking part in a campaign to encourage people to think about fostering in a different way.
As part of Foster Care Fortnight, fostering agency Fostering People have been holding a series of information and awareness-raising events in local garden centres.
At the events, the organisation is giving away free gift packs which include a plant pot and flower seeds and encourage people to nurture the seeds and watch them grow, much as a foster carer would do with children in their care.
They will be at Earsdon Plant Centre, in Earsdon, on Saturday, May 28, from 9am to 5pm.
Mark Briggs, from Fostering People, said: “There is currently a shortage of 450 foster carers in the north east, and with such a need for local children, we want to encourage people to think about fostering in very simple terms.
“In this campaign, we want to show that just like plants, what children really need is food and water to help them grow.”
Fostering People have been supported by North Tyneside VODA, whose young volunteers have been spreading the word and helping to put gift packs together.
Robin Fry, VODA’s Volunteer Centre Manager, said: “Our young volunteers were really keen to get involved in this campaign.
“Fostering was a theme that a group of participants from our spring NCS programme were passionate about and by helping to assemble the ‘sowing the seeds’ gift packs, they are contributing to very important awareness-raising events.”
Those who are interested in finding out more about becoming a foster carer with Fostering People can contact 0800 077 8159.
If you are interested in volunteering in North Tyneside, or aged between 15 and 17 and interested in taking part in the NCS programme, contact VODA on 0191 643 2639 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.