Gill and Gary are retiring after fostering for almost 10 years, to spend more time with their grandchildren – and make the most of their new motorhome.
We thank them for the care and support they have provided over the years to the children and young people they have welcomed in to their home on foster placements and we wish them all the very best for the future. To mark their retirement from fostering, we presented Gill and Gary with their own personalised word art and campervan mugs.
Gill explained: "Our own children had left home and we felt we could support other children who needed help and at the same time keep us busy. We wondered what we would encounter and whether we would be equipped to deal with it. But we didn’t need to worry as we were given lots of training and support!
"The fostering assessment took quite a while and was very thorough. Initially we questioned why it took so long and why some of the questions were very personal. We quickly realised that this needed to happen as the children were the most important part of this process – not us - and needed to be protected. It was important to make sure we were the right kind of family for fostering and that fostering was right for us.
"The advice we would give anyone thinking about fostering would be go for it, it is challenging but it’s also very rewarding and that outweighs everything. The only other advice would be always work together as a team.
"One thing we wished we had known - how much fun and laughter we would have! The best part of our journey was building relationships and forging trust with the children we have looked after. It has been so rewarding watching them develop into mature independent young adults. It taught us a lot about ourselves in terms of communicating with young people and has most definitely kept us young!"
If you think you could change the life of a young person in North Yorkshire you can find out more about becoming a foster carer with Fostering North Yorkshire.