A dedicated green space is set to flourish as a ‘fostering woodland’ in celebration of Kirklees Council’s family of foster carers.
A group of foster carers and council staff planted young trees as a poignant reminder that new carers are needed to offer homes to local children and young people.
The trees were planted with a heart shaped tag – a symbol that it takes room in your heart, and home, to change the life of a young person in care.
The event was part of the council’s community tree planting programme, which is increasing woodland cover across the district, and was also supported by Huddersfield Town FC.
The planting site, in the Lowerhouses area of Huddersfield, was chosen because it is close to walking routes and is a good spot to encourage wildlife. Around 200 trees were planted.
Mel Meggs, strategic director for children’s services, said: “Our foster carers are passionate about making a difference to the lives of children and young people – this tree planting effort is just one way for us to acknowledge them.
“The woodland is a visible sign that we always need new foster carers to give children and young people safe and loving homes.
“We welcome carers of different ages, different backgrounds and all walks of life. Fostering for Kirklees Council ensures you are part of the team that knows our children the best.
“Our message is simple: If you feel you can make a difference to a child, please take the next step and contact our fostering team.”
Colin Parr, strategic director for environment and climate change, said: “Tree planting has so many benefits, having a hugely positive impact on people and environment as well as helping to tackle the climate emergency.
“Our aim is to create a network of new woodlands to help improve local and regional biodiversity and create new natural spaces for people to enjoy.
“I’m delighted that this tree planting event not only benefited our environment but also highlighted the vital role that fostering plays in our communities.
“It’s imperative we come together and encourage people to consider fostering, providing our children and young people with safe, stable homes where they can grow and thrive.”
Huddersfield Town are a long-term supporter of Kirklees Council’s work to recruit more foster carers.
Club ambassador Andy Booth explained: “We work tirelessly within communities to support children and families. Football is a way of breaking down barriers between communities and it promotes equality and inclusion.
“There is an important message we want to help spread with Kirklees Council – there is no such thing as a typical foster carer. We would encourage anybody who is interested to find out more.”
If you have room in your home and heart to foster, the council would love to hear from you.
Chat to the team and find out about fostering: You could be the difference to children and young people.
Email: email@example.com Tel: 0800 389 0086
For more information go to www.kirklees.gov.uk/fostering