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“Flowers and plants flourish from year to year… just like them”

Day in the life..., Foster Carers, News,

A laughing foster carer Sally waters the garden with a little blond girl


“The children in my care enjoy quality time in the garden, from collecting snails at 1p a snail, to planting and watching flowers and plants flourishing from year to year… just like them.”


Foster carer Sally who, with husband Steve, has fostered for over 20 years continued: “We love our garden and see it as an additional ‘room’ in our house. We’ve enjoy every aspect of it.”


This National Children’s Gardening Week (25 May – 2 June), we’ve been taking time to chat with full-time foster carer Sally (pictured) in order to learn the role gardens and outdoor spaces play in the development, learning and experience of the children in our care.


National Children's Gardening Week logo with plant pot animated charter visual


However small the area, gardening together provides a chance to learn about nature, develop a sense of pride, and encourage responsibility, even in the form of a window box or indoor plants. It generally offers fresh air and an opportunity for exploring and self-expression, as well as bonding, relaxing, and boosting the well-being of both children and their parents or carers.


One of the BBC’s Tiny Happy People articles also points out that the benefits of gardening even extend to developing children’s self-esteem, fine motor skills, patience, as well as an understanding of healthy eating, extending their vocabulary, and providing time away from screens.


Psychologist Dr Claire Halsey shared in second BBC article about time outdoors: “A few minutes of active play outside supports children’s coordination, balance and stamina, as well as being really good fun. These all lift mood, improve physical health… child relationships and social skills.”


Dr Halsey also added: “You might also see some longer-term benefits, as burning off that energy is vital to help stave off restlessness at home and improve sleep.”


Purple snail animated character called SammySpade animated character called DougBlue plant pot animated character called PollyBumble bee animated character called BumbleHedgehog animated character called Spike


National Children’s Gardening Week – who with their motto ‘Together, we help children grow’ are very much in sync with our own aims and objectives at Foster Portsmouth – celebrates the fun that gardens hold for children alongside partners the World of Peter Rabbit and participating garden centres.


[Discover the BBC’s guide to gardening with children]


Sally, who is currently caring for four boys, continued: “They love a ‘sprinkler’ in the summer months and take turns watering the plants. We collect rainwater in the winter months to use, and use our compost bin.”


“The boys love the environment and being hands on in the garden allows them to see first-hand all the benefits our garden gives them. We have grown tomatoes and attempted strawberries, all a learning curve!”


Sally ended, “Our garden is our haven, we are very lucky to have it!”


Our foster carers come from all walks of life, and they all share the same commitment and motivation to make a positive difference to a child’s life. Foster Portsmouth welcomes all enquiries about fostering regardless of age, gender, faith, ethnicitysexualitymarital, residential or work status.


There are many types of fostering and everyone will be able to find one that’s the right fit for them. This could be a short or long-term arrangement for a child or siblings until they’re ready to live independently or be reunited with family, support for children with a disability or unaccompanied children seeking safety and asylumsupported lodgings to develop their independent living skills, a parent and baby placements, or respite care.


We offer our foster carers competitive, recently increased fees and allowances for the children in their care, a bespoke training programme and 24/7 support, access to the award-winning Mockingbird model of care, discounts and benefits, social activities, and free membership to The Fostering Network.


To arrange a chat with an existing foster carer, to talk to our experienced fostering team, or if you’re ready to make an initial enquiry, please contact us.

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