Young Kent woman urges people to foster children for love not money.


Tuesday 5 February, 2013

A young Kent woman who is campaigning for potential foster carers to concentrate on a child’s long-term needs rather than financial reward will be featured on ITV News Meridian on Thursday, February 7, from 6pm.

Nancy Jones from the Isle of Sheppey has been in foster care since she was 18-months-old. She is worried that foster care is often promoted more as a business, with financial rewards, rather than the loving relationship it should be.

Now working as a ‘Fixer’, the 21-year-old has been supported to develop her own alternative advertising campaign to promote the real values that she feels foster carers need.

Fixers is a movement of 16 to 25-year-olds across the UK who are supported to take action and change things for the better, addressing any issue they feel strongly about. How each Fixer tackles an issue is up to them – as long as they benefit someone else.

Nancy is determined to improve the way foster carers are recruited and believes that the views of young people in care are often forgotten on this subject.

“I have actually had a really good experience of fostering,” said Nancy, who lives with her foster carer of the last five years. “I am doing this so that we can get the right calibre of people so that everyone else can have an experience that’s just as good.”

Believing that foster care is often advertised inappropriately, Nancy feels that many campaigns focus on the financial benefits available rather than concentrating on the values that are important to foster children, such as love, decency and care.

Nancy, who works supporting young people to develop independent living skills, added: “I do appreciate that it’s a hard job and takes skills to do. Foster carers do need a reward because it’s hard-going, but they also should be in it for the right reasons and a lot of people aren’t. They should be in it because they feel as if they can change someone’s life.”

Working with Fixers, Nancy hopes that her adverts will be used across Kent.

Fixers are young people who give their time to make a difference in their communities.

Each Fixer is supported to create the resources they need to make their chosen project a success, with creative help from media professionals to make their own promotional material, such as films, websites or print work.

Fixers is a project of the Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT), funded by the Big Lottery Fund which awarded them £7.2 million in April 2012.

“Fixers started in 2008 as just an idea… an idea given a voice by some 5,500 young people over the past four years,” says Margo Horsley, Chief Executive of PSBT.

“They have reached thousands of people with their work, on a national stage as well as in and around where they live. They choose the full array of social and health issues facing society today and set about making their mark. Their ideas can be challenging, inspirational and often life-changing.”

Peter Ainsworth, Big Lottery Fund UK Chair, said: “The Big Lottery Fund is extremely happy to be supporting Fixers to engage with more young people to change things for the better. Thousands of public-spirited young people across the UK are campaigning to make improvements in their own communities. By providing a platform to highlight their voluntary work and many achievements, Fixers demonstrates the positive contribution thousands of committed young people are making at a local level and challenges negative stereotypes.”

Picture caption:
Photo of Nancy Jones attached.

For images, interviews and more information, please contact Sarah Jones in the Fixers Communications Team by email sarahj@fixers.org.uk or phone 01962 810970.

Notes to editors:

• Fixers is a project of the Public Service Broadcasting Trust, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, and featured on ITV regional news programmes. Since 2008 more than 6,500 young people in England have become Fixers and created some 800 projects. Their achievements have been highlighted in over 300 ITV features. Now with a £7.2 million grant from the Big Lottery Fund, Fixers is extending into Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, and aims to work with 21,000 young people over the next four years.
• The Public Service Broadcasting Trust is a charity that brings together mainstream broadcasters, public and voluntary sector services, and viewers.
• The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
• BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since June 2004. The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
• Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £29 billion has now been raised and more than 383,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.

There are lots more stories about young people doing great things on our website, Twitter and Facebook pages:
www.fixers.org.uk
www.twitter.com/FixersUK
www.facebook.com/FixersUK

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Fixers, on Tuesday 5 February, 2013. For more information visit http://www.pressat.co.uk/


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