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Issue:- Monday, 9 May 2016

Headlines and reports on this page = 4 news items.    Page - 16.

Awareness campaign calls for new foster carers in Southport to address national shortage

EVERY 20 minutes across the UK a child comes into care in need of a foster family. With approximately 995 children and young people in local authority care in Liverpool, many of whom are in urgent need of a foster family, Foster Care Associates (FCA) is appealing for new foster carers as it prepares to mark Foster Care Fortnight, on Monday, 16 May 2016 to Sunday, 29 May 2016; the UK's biggest annual foster carer recruitment campaign.

The event aims to highlight the fantastic work done by foster carers in the region who are helping to transform the lives of looked after children and young people, as well as encourage those interested in fostering to take that first step into becoming a foster carer.

This year's theme is Time to foster, Time to Care and highlights the fact that every 20 minutes across the UK a child comes in to care in need of a foster family. This equates to more than 1000 children and young people during the duration of Foster Care Fortnight.

Mark Costello, CEO of FCA, said:- "Many people would love to foster but they believe that their personal circumstances, or skills and experience, would prevent them from doing so. Whether you're single, over 50, childless, or in a same sex relationship, fostering could be for you, and we want to bust some of the myths that may prevent potential foster carer's from making that 1st enquiry. Foster Care Fortnight is the ideal opportunity to talk to the regional FCA team and have an informal face to face chat to find out more about fostering. People are often surprised by how much support and training is available and this is a key driver for many people coming forward and becoming a foster carer with FCA. If you have a spare room in your home you could potentially foster!"

FCA host regular events in the region for those interested in taking the first step into providing foster care and want to find out more about the extensive support the organisation provide to their foster carers. More information about forthcoming regional events are available on the website.

Foster carers with FCA receive frequent visits and contact from a dedicated and qualified social worker. Support is also provided through an education officer, support workers and therapists to help carers meet the needs of the child or young person. Ongoing training, a financial allowance, access to carer support groups and organised family activities are all contributing factors as to why FCA placements are 22% more stable than the national average.

Anyone interested in finding out more about fostering can meet up with the FCA team at one of its regional events or call:- 0800 023 4561 and speak to the FCA Recruitment Team. More information about forthcoming regional information events are available on the website.

Ainsley Harriott to open Southport Flower Show

CELEBRITY chef Ainsley Harriott is to bring his barbecue to the seaside this summer to fire up the 2016 Southport Flower Show.  Ainsley will open the annual show on the Lancashire coast before showcasing the culinary skills which have made him one of Britain's best loved TV cooks.

He has starred in a string of popular TV shows, including Ainsley's Barbecue Bible, Ready Steady Cook and, over the last year, Ainsley Harriott's Street Food and Len and Ainsley's Big Food Adventure. He also threw some memorable shapes on the dancefloor when he appeared in the most recent series of Strictly Come Dancing. Ainsley is a best selling author, with over 2 million copies sold worldwide, and is a familiar face in our shopping aisles with his highly successful range of soups, rice and cous cous. Ainsley will appear at Southport, on Thursday, 18 August 2016, for the opening day of Britain's biggest independent flower show and will be performing 2 cookery demonstrations in the Food Village. 

Ainsley says:- "I'm really excited to have been asked to appear at the famous Southport Flower Show. I've heard so much about it over the years and, as I've always been interested in gardening and growing my own vegetables and herbs, I'm hoping to pick up a few tips while I'm there."

This year's Southport Flower Show has a Mediterranean theme and will celebrate the culture, cuisine and fragrant gardens of the Southern European Coast. The show features masterclasses from the UK's top gardeners including Joe Swift, Carol Klein and Christine Walkden plus keenly contested amateur growers' competitions and the spectacle of the Grand Floral Marquee. Southport also features entertainment for all the family and a food festival which grows in size and popularity every year. Ainsley will be joined by a host of famous names including chefs Aiden Byrne and Andrew Nutter.

General Manager Ray Roukin said:- "We are delighted to welcome Ainsley Harriott, to Southport for this year's show. The Food Village has become one of the most exciting additions to the line up of attractions at Southport and it will be fantastic for visitors to see 1 of the nation's favourite chefs in action at the show."

Southport Flower Show runs from Thursday, 18 August 2016 to Sunday, 21 August 2016. Advance tickets are available for just £19 per person. Purchase your tickets before the end of May and you can buy 2 tickets for just £34. Children under 16 go free when accompanied by a paying adult. For more up to date information on the show, celebrity announcements, details and ticket bookings visit:- SouthportFlowerShow.Co.UK or call:- 01704 547147.

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