A group of foster children from Gloucester and the South West of England have organised a talent show to raise money for a local charity that supports young people with their mental health.
The children and young people taking part, aged between seven and 16, are all currently in foster care through Gloucester and Bristol-based independent social enterprise, Five Rivers Child Care.
The Five Rivers office in Maisemoor is home to the Young People’s Group, a group of fostered children from across the South West of England who work together to plan activities and events to raise money for different charities. This year, the Young People’s Group and Five Rivers staff worked together to arrange an event to Celebrate Care Day 2019. The main goal of the event was to celebrate the talents and voices of young people in care as well as raise money for Young Minds, a local charity that provides mental health support for children and young people.
The talent show, titled Speak Out, featured over 25 young people dancing, performing gymnastics, reading poems, presenting artwork and performing Karate. The event was also supported by the local business community including: Studley Grange Butterfly World, Better Extreme Trampoline Park, Slimbridge Gloucestershire, Go Ape Forest of Dean, Gloucester Rugby and Lucozade in Coleford. A raffle on the night raised over £76.25 following ticket sales on the day and in the weeks prior.
Jill Coulter, team manager at Five Rivers in Gloucester, said: “It’s been overwhelming to see how motivated the children have been as part of the Young People’s Group to raise money for charity. In the past the group has raised money for Cancer Research, however, this year the children wanted to support a group surrounding mental health for young people.
“This event has been a fantastic opportunity for youngsters in care to showcase their talents and a reminder to us all on the importance of the work Five Rivers does to help young people reach their full potential and have their voices heard.”
The winner of the talent show delivered a beautiful and heart-warming speech about her ‘Forever Home’ leaving the audience with tears in their eyes. She told the story of how her and her little brother came into foster care, previous placements and the overwhelming joy of being placed into a permanent home.
Jill said, “Thank you to every member of the Young People’s Group who made this event happen, it wouldn’t have been possible without their dedication, creative thinking and team work.”
Five Rivers Child Care is currently recruiting foster carers in Gloucester, Swindon, Bristol and Somerset. People from all walks of life can become foster carers as long as they are over 21 years of age, including single people, co-habiting couples, same sex couples and people living in rented accommodation are all eligible, the only requirement is a spare room for each foster child.