Posted on: Monday 10 May 2021
Welsh artist Nathan Wyburn wants to shine a light on the work that Torfaen’s foster carers do, as Pontypool Civic Centre will be lit up in orange this Foster Care Fortnight.
While many of us have had family and friends there to support us during difficult times over the last year, many children and young people across Wales need that support now, more than ever.
Foster Care Fortnight, which runs from 10 - 23 May, is a national awareness raising and recruitment campaign, run by The Fostering Network.
With this year’s theme being ‘#WhyWeCare’, Welsh artist, Nathan Wyburn, who is known for his unique methods of creating art, has produced a piece using LED lights to help prove how any house can become a safe and loving home.
Nathan said: “I was sent a poem that encompassed everything foster carers do in providing a brighter future for children across Wales and wanted to create something that champions them in the way they open the doors to their homes – and their hearts.
I chose to turn those words into art with a piece that signifies a home being the literal light at the end of the tunnel for children and young people.
I think one of the biggest myths around fostering is that you have to have a big house with a big garden to be a foster carer – and that’s just not true.
A video showing a time-lapse of the piece coming together and overlaid with said poem shows how the context of the art is unclear, “It’s only when the lights are switched on, there is clarity. A sense of possibility and positivity shines through."
Now people across Torfaen are being asked to show their support for Foster Care Fortnight by placing a lamp in their front window next Thursday (20th May) to ‘shine a light’ on the work being done by Local Authority foster carers, and celebrate their efforts in transforming children and young people’s lives. Buildings across Wales, including the Civic Centre in Pontypool, will also be lit up in orange to observe the remarkable work they do.
Cllr Fiona Cross, Executive Member for Children, Families & Communities, said, “Foster carers provide day-to-day care, stability, love and support to children and young people who can’t live with their birth families.
The pandemic has meant spending much more time at home, but some children and young people can only dream of having the sense of safety and comfort that home has provided for the majority of us. It’s quite simply something that can seem out of reach to some children and young people.”
Hundreds of new foster families are needed every year in Wales to care for children and young people of all ages, in particular for sibling groups, older children and young people, children with additional needs, and unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.
However, there are still many misconceptions around fostering. For example, some people think you have to be in a relationship, or married, or own your own home, which is simply not true. Many people in Torfaen will have a spare bedroom that could become a sanctuary, transforming a child’s life and helping them to meet their true potential.”
Torfaen Council is calling on more people in Torfaen to consider fostering and welcomes applications from people from all walks of life, who bring a wide range of skills and experience to the role.
The council will be sharing content across our social media channels throughout Foster Care Fortnight to help more people understand and value fostering and the positive difference it can make to the lives of children and young people.
If you think you could make a difference by becoming a foster carer in Torfaen, please visit www.torfaen.gov.uk/fostering