High hopes for Isle of Wight Fostering’s sunflower challenge

Isle of Wight Council foster carers have been set the challenge of who can grow the tallest sunflower.

All members of the fostering household have been given a seed starter kit, which they must nurture from seedling to skyscraper!

The council purchased seeds, soil and growing pots for more than 90 fostering households, from Haylands Farm in Ryde.

Haylands Farm has been providing services for Islanders with learning disabilities for more than 40 years.

The agricultural day centre, which offer training courses, educational programmes and practical work experience, remains open thanks to the generosity of volunteers and charitable donations.

Their garden plants and flowers, which are available to purchase, are grown on site by the students.

To learn more about Haylands and to pledge your support, visit www.haylandsfarm.co.uk.

Foster carers are gardeners

There are few metaphors that better describe a foster carer other than a gardener.

Our community of carers nurture and support children at a critical time in their lives, reaping reward in seeing them grow and blossom into happy, healthy young people.

Debbie Price, service manager for children in care, said: “As a service, we often praise our foster families for the work they do; welcoming a child into their home, providing a sense of safety and belonging.

“But it must be recognised that these people are offering much more – they are giving children emotional support to heal from their experiences, the opportunity to learn and encouragement to be ambitious.

“Their work is transformational but very often goes unspoken.”

Councillor Paul Brading, Cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills, added: “We are very proud of how our carers responded to the coronavirus pandemic.

“They showed their strength through resilience and commitment to children in care; prioritising the child’s wellbeing while shielding and protecting their own families.”

The need for foster carers on the Island remains high

Isle of Wight Fostering continue to recruit individuals who have a genuine interest in helping young people.

For Island-based training, specialist support and generous allowances, join our growing community of foster families. You could help to change a child’s life.

Apply online at www.iow.gov.uk/Fostering or call (01983) 823160 to speak with a member of our team