Mike and Pauline's story...
Mike and Pauline have been fostering for 35 years. Here Mike describes one of his most memorable experiences as a foster carer...
"One of our foster children was just 8 when he arrived. But despite his young age he had considered himself the ‘daddy’ and protector of his younger siblings, so we were worried about whether he’d find it too difficult to feel like a child again.
Progress started slow, but soon he started taking up activities like joining the scouts. He loved animals, open spaces and the countryside and soon became a competent horse-rider. He helped out at the stables in exchange for free access to the horses and hacks.
On one family day out, he was playing in a park on a pub grounds and another child fell down a 30ft disused well. He was the first on the scene. Seeing that there was not enough room for him to get into the well he used his feet to find the little girl and pulled her above the water whilst clinging onto the top of the well, until help came and they were both pulled out.
For his bravery his scout leader awarded him the Highest Scout award for valour. Soon the press picked it up and he got to take a trip to London to appear on the BBC's Blue Peter receiving the Blue Peter Gold Award. And next, a visit to Windsor Castle for the Annual Queens’ Scout parade and presentations. He remained his usual modest self throughout and is now a Daddy himself, with a loving family.
I get a lot of satisfaction from, and feel very proud of all the achievements our foster children have made. They give me a lot to brag about!
We receive letters and photos from children we've fostered in the past, and their parents, letting us know how they're getting on. We also get gifts and thank-you cards. Our garden is full of shrubs, roses and trees we've received from the children we've fostered - each with a personal memory for us and our children."