'Getting rid of misconceptions about fostering children'

Five Rivers is appealing for more LGBTQ  foster carers. See letter
Five Rivers is appealing for more LGBTQ foster carers. See letter

We are calling on the LGBTQ community to explore opportunities in fostering as new research shows misconceptions about the industry could be impacting foster carer recruitment numbers.

There are currently 1,240 children and young people needing foster homes across the North West yet there are common misconceptions around who is eligible to foster, from age through to living circumstances and sexual orientation. Many people are unaware that same sex couples or those from the LGBTQ community are eligible to foster.

This is a misconception Five Rivers Child Care is keen to eliminate this February, which marks LGBT History Month, in a bid to recruit more foster carers from currently underrepresented communities.

In addition to misconceptions surrounding LGBTQ rights to foster, 60 per cent of people across the UK believe that those in rented accommodation are unable to foster, and 40 per cent of us believe that those without their own children wouldn’t be allowed to be foster carers. The findings from our recent research paint an outdated picture of the fostering industry but it highlights that more needs to be done to reach those within LGBTQ communities to tell them about the opportunities available to them in fostering. And it’s not just a career, it’s a life choice. It’s deciding to change the life of a vulnerable young person that otherwise might not have a home or a family.

It’s important to have a diverse range of foster carers to reflect the diverse nature of the children and young people entering the system and provide role models from all walks of life. We want to make it common knowledge that anyone can foster, providing they have a spare room and they are over the age of 21. Single people, those in rented accommodation, those with disabilities and those from the LGBTQ community all have the opportunity to make great foster carers.

Martin Leitch

Head of Fostering Operations at Five Rivers Child Care

Tours to WW1 battlefields

Each year, the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Battlefield Tours organise pilgrimages to the battle areas of the First World War.

The tours are in August and September.

This year we plan to visit the Somme Battlefields, The Ypres Salient, Arras, Vimy Ridge, and Loos Battlefield areas.

The trips specialise in visiting specific cemeteries or memorials on the above mentioned battlefields as and when they are requested, and an experienced battlefield guide will accompany each trip, to commentate on the various battles and the many historic events that occurred in the areas that we visit.

We can also assist people in the tracing of war graves from the First World War.

The K.O.Y.L.I. Battlefield pilgrimages was formed as a charitable hobby in 1990 by ex-servicemen who have many years of practical experience in conducting visits to the First World War battlefield areas of France and Flanders, and we support the Royal British Legion Poppy appeal.

These trips are open to anyone who might be interested, and we welcome all enquiries. We are a not for profit organisation. Anyone who requires further information should write to:­

John Battye

32 Rhodes Street

Hightown, Castleford

West Yorkshire, WF10 5LL

Brexit ‘farce’ a waste of time

“You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think”.

Contemplating this quote on mortality by the great Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, I’m reminded of the profound importance of making every day count, of not squandering mine and everyone else’s time.

There certainly are quite a few time-wasters within the current Tory government.

It was our misfortune to be fooled into thinking we could seize the day on June 23, 2016.

Parliament could have played fair and implemented the will of the people but instead the Brexit vote turned out to be a farcical waste of our precious time.

I ask you, what right do politicians have to treat our time as anything but a beautiful gift that should not be lavished on the trivial and unattainable?

Thanks to May and her cronies much of the urgency and meaning in our lives has now been replaced by inadequacy and pointlessness.

Surely we have a right to be valued?

Aled Jones

Address supplied

Extend EU exit to April Fool’s Day

Based on Theresa May’s botched Brexit negotiations, an extension to our departure date appears likely.

This is quite acceptable, as long as it is moved to what should have been the appropriate date in the first place - April 1st.

Denis Lee

Ashton