Caring Kim Pegram knew she wanted to become a foster carer when she was taken care of by a loving family at the age of nine when her own mum was ill.
She spent time with the family on their farm in Bolton-by- Bowland, herding cows and picking apples.
She felt cared for, safe and loved at what could have been a very worrying time for such a small child. So when she grew up there was no doubt in Kim’s mind that she would become a foster carer.
“I love it, I wouldn’t have it any other way,’’ said Kim who at 32 has been fostering for six years. It has become her full time job and over the years she has taken care of hundreds of “placements’’ from babies aged just 36 hours to young mums with their own offspring.
Kim, who was born and bred in Clitheroe and still lives in her home town, finds it hard to put into words what she gets from being a foster carer.
She said: “People always ask me that question and I find it hard to answer but I think part of why I enjoy it so much is seeing a placement go on to find their permanent family where they are settled and happy or I see a child I have taken care of reunited with members of their birth family.’”
Kim hopes that her own personal story will encourage more people in the Ribble Valley and the North West to become foster carers as part of a campaign being run by Child Action North West. This is also the second week of Foster Care Fortnight.
“1,200 Voices” is part of the campaign to raise awareness of the need for more foster carers. Helping to raise the profile of the campaign is Langho’s own Ella Shaw, a Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist who has recorded an album of songs which it is hoped will encourage people in the North West to consider fostering. And Ella lent her vocals to one of the tracks called “We Are The Voice” which was written and performed by foster children especially for the album.
Each year CANW works with around 8,000 vulnerable children, young adults and their families across the North West.
Kim fosters with her husband, Darren, and the couple’s birth daughter, Dani (12) who has a key role to play in the proess. Kim said: “We discuss everything with her and she has chance to put her point of view across.
“It is a different childhood for her but she wouldn’t have it any other way because she says she loves having lots of siblings.”
Kim said: “It can be challenging and also upsetting. We recently had a placement leave us five days before her first birthday and that was very difficult but we receive a great deal of help and support for us to deal with this as a family and how we move forward.
“I look on this role as being someone who is there to give a child or a young adult the love, support and stability for the time they need it until they find the right place to be.”
The album “We Are The Voice” is available in exchange for a charitable donation from the CANW’s website www.canw.org.uk or by calling 01254 244700.
For more information about becoming a foster carer call 0800 634 5300.