A team of 24 foster carers, the children they care for, their birth children and families, staff members and supporters took part in the Great South Run’s 10-mile, 5km, junior and mini races on behalf of Foster Portsmouth last weekend.
Eleven foster carers, five children they care for, five of their birth children, two Portsmouth City Council staff and a supporter all teamed up for the four races around our city over the weekend. Wearing branded running vests, they hoped to raise awareness of Foster Portsmouth and the need for more foster carers from diverse backgrounds to provide a safe home for the vulnerable children and young people in Portsmouth.
Foster carer Rob Cooke, who ran the 5km for Foster Portsmouth this year, said:
“I’ve been a keen runner for around 10 years. I’ve completed the Great South Run 10-mile race three times, one of which was for Foster Portsmouth. I prefer shorter runs now… and so do my knees!”
“I have loved fostering and would recommend it to anyone who feels they have some spare time. There are so many children who need caring for.”
The 5km, junior and mini races all took place on Saturday 14 October and the 10-mile race took place on Sunday 15 October. All four races took in many of the city’s iconic sites.
Cllr Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council, commented:
“It is fantastic to see some of the younger members of our fostering community join our Foster Portsmouth Great South Run team this year! It really made for an extra special family atmosphere over the weekend.”
Cllr Horton continued:
“Our team wearing our running vests really helps support us in raising the profile of Foster Portsmouth locally as well as the need for additional loving foster homes in Portsmouth and the surrounding areas for the children and young people in need of care in our city.”
“I’d like to thank all of the team on behalf of Foster Portsmouth!”
The council welcomes all enquiries about fostering. Portsmouth City Council’s foster carers all share the same commitment and motivation to make a positive difference to a child’s life. This could be a short or long-term arrangement until they’re ready to live independently or be reunited with family, support for unaccompanied children seeking asylum or children with a disability, Supported Lodgings to develop their independent living skills, a parent and baby placement, or respite care.
Foster carer David Holmes said:
“The Great South Run is an amazing event and I ran in Foster Portsmouth colours again this year to raise awareness of the need for foster carers within the city.”
“My wife and I have been doing respite and short-term fostering through Portsmouth City Council for just under two years now and have found it to be a very rewarding experience opening our home to young people in need.”
“I am running both the Great South Run and the Gosport half marathon with the aim to also raise funds for Flying Solo, an organisation that helps to support care leavers who begin their adult lives with no family support structure to fall back on.”
Foster Portsmouth needs more foster carers from diverse backgrounds to reflect the children and young people we look after in our city. Anyone aged 21+ with a spare bedroom can foster with us regardless of their age, gender, faith, ethnicity, sexuality, marital or work status, or whether they rent or own their own home.
It was a family affair for foster carer Nikki Cameron. Nikki ran the 5k with her son Jude, her husband Steve ran the 10-mile, their godson Jacob ran the junior race and one of the children they care for ran the mini race.
Nikki shared: “It was a real bonding experience for the family. The kids are still talking about it now and are so proud to show off their medals!”
Foster carers Glen & Ruth ran the 10-mile race with their 17-year-old son Luke. Ruth shared that Luke was determined to beat his Dad and did manage to do so by just 7 minutes, “Glen is a veteran runner, but this was the first time Luke has actually run 10 miles. We have all been a little stiff but it was well worth it!”
Clare Maker, who will be celebrating her third anniversary as a Portsmouth City Council respite and short-term foster carer later this month, reported:
“I thoroughly enjoyed the run which I didn’t expect to and beat my time from 2 years ago by about 15 minutes!”
Foster carers receive excellent, local training and 24/7 support, including through our pioneering Mockingbird Family Model support network and mentoring scheme, discounts and benefits, and competitive fees and allowances.
Foster carer and Portsmouth City Council staff member Steve Curtis has run the Great South Run for Foster Portsmouth for a number of years now. He has shared: “I chose to run for Foster Portsmouth because it is a great opportunity for me to raise the profile of the service. I have done a number of different organised runs but the Great South Run is a true celebration of the city. One of the young people we provide care for… inspires me to enter each year.”
Supporter Ian and staff members Lara & John arranged their own Great South Run race places but wanted to support Foster Portsmouth by raising awareness of the need for additional foster carers so ran in our team running vest for us.
We’ve like to congratulate and thank all our runners once again for completing their races on our behalf.