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Denton family share their favourite fostering moments

A Tameside family have shared their favourite fostering moments making a difference to the lives of local children.

Gill and Paul Naylor, 44 and 48, from Denton have been fostering for Tameside Council for almost five years and they currently are on their sixth and seventh placement.

They want to tell others about their fostering journey to help highlight national Foster Care Fortnight (13 to 26 May), organised by The Fostering Network and supported by the council, which is in need of more foster carers to provide stable, loving homes for local children and young people in care.

Gill and Paul told how they had always wanted to foster but decided to raise their own family first and start fostering once their children were at an age to understand the process.

When asked what their favourite fostering moments have been they said: “It has to be being a part of the little ones lives from birth to when they leave us, watching and helping them reach their milestones, and seeing their 'firsts', like teeth, steps, words.”

Before fostering Gill had her own driving school, which she stopped to spend time with her young children. Gill planned to return to this job once her children had grown up but instead decided to follow her heart and start fostering after speaking with friends.

Gill said: “Anyone who asks me about fostering I say it's the most rewarding path I have taken, I won't say job because to me it's not a job, I feel as though it's what I was always supposed to do.

“Yes there can be challenges but they can all be resolved and you have to remember why and who you are doing it all for.”

With Gill and Paul having children of their own they explained how it has worked within their family unit. The couple said: “Our children have been very accepting of the babies that we have cared for, they treat them as part of our family and enjoy being foster siblings to them all.

“They are very positive when they talk to anyone about fostering and that makes it so much easier for us to know that they are happy in what we are doing to. Fostering fits extremely well in our family life.”

Tameside Council Deputy Executive Leader Cllr Bill Fairfoull, who is responsible for children and families, said: “I would like to thank Gill and Paul for sharing their inspiring and heart-warming experience of fostering.

“I’m grateful for and appreciate all of our Foster Carers in Tameside, and we are proud to work with them to provide children and young people with stability and strong relationships that allow them to flourish and reach their full potential as they grow older.”

Tameside Council is looking for people from all backgrounds to become foster carers for local children and provides full training, support and an allowance.

For more information call 0161 342 2342 or email fosteringenquiries@tameside.gov.uk or visit www.tameside.gov.uk/fostering.

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