Celebrities take a trip down memory lane to launch Barnardo’s fostering campaign

helen mirren

helen mirren

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Dame Helen Mirren, Joanna Lumley and Amanda Holden are amongst a host of stars who have shared their most cherished childhood snaps to front a new campaign called ‘Create my memories,’ in a bid to recruit more foster carers in the UK.

The campaign led by Barnardo’s, the UK leading children’s charity, is calling on members of the public to consider becoming a foster carer and be the ones who create happy childhood memories for the most vulnerable children in the UK.



Current figures show that 8,600 more foster carers are urgently needed to look after children across the UK – with around 750 new foster families needed in Yorkshire.

In an attempt to broadcast its plea for more foster carers to the public, Barnardo’s has persuaded some of Britain’s most famous faces including Twiggy, Peter Capaldi, Nicola Roberts and Russell Howard to step back in time and reveal some candid images and stories from school days, summer holidays and family life.

Using the adorable collection of pictures, Barnardo’s will be staging projection stunts throughout the charity’s 6th annual Fostering and Adoption Week, on the busiest high streets in London, Manchester and Glasgow.

Model, actress and singer Twiggy spoke about her picture and early childhood:

“One of my favourite childhood memories was when we went on holiday to holiday camps by the sea every summer. I loved the little chalets we slept in and there was always so much to do and so many children to play with. 

“Another cherished memory was being cuddled by my Dad before going to bed and him reading me a story. I felt so safe and loved”. 

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Further support for Barnardo’s campaign has come from Nicola Roberts, Peter Capaldi and Samantha Womack, in the form of a 60 second film featuring their favourite childhood memories.

Brenda Farrell, head of fostering and adoption at Barnardo’s, said:

“Without the right foster family to care for them, many vulnerable children may never experience the love and stability they so desperately need and happy memories will remain a distant dream. We are truly grateful that so many household names are helping us to broadcast our plea for people to consider becoming foster parents.

“Currently a third of all children in foster care are moved between different families more than twice every year due to the lack of suitable foster carers.The number of children in the care system in the UK has risen for the 7th year in a row to more than 90,000 and at least 8,600 new foster carers are needed in the UK.

It is a critical situation and Barnardo’s is looking for people with patience and commitment to provide a stable home for the most vulnerable children in the UK. Fostering is a caring career and I would encourage those who feel they have a lot of love to give to get in touch.

Barnardo’s is particularly keen to speak to older people with life experience, whether they are parents themselves or not. There is no upper age limit although there is a minimum age of 21. Barnardo’s does not exclude anyone from consideration on the grounds of marital status, gender, sexual orientation, disability or employment status.

To find out more about fostering visit www.barnardos.org.uk/fostering or call 08000 277 280

Barnardo’s celebrity supporters filmed for the campaign film are:

Peter Capaldi, Nicola Roberts, Samantha Womack, Lesley Joseph, Nina Wadia, Fay Ripley, Jo Joyner, Christopher Biggins, Charlotte Jackson, Bruce Oldfield,

Barnardo’s celebrity supporters who have submitted their childhood pictures:

Dame Helen Mirren, Joanna Lumley, Amanda Holden, Twiggy, Russell Howard, Ian Rankin, Brenda Blethyn, Jo Joyner, Linda Robson, Nina Wadia, Bruce Oldfield, Fay Ripley, Christopher Biggins,Carol Smillie. Please contact jo.hewitt@barnardos.org.uk for images.

The Fostering Network released the annual recruitment target for new foster carers across the UK on 8 January 2014:

8,600 new foster families will be needed across the UK in 2014. This breaks down to:

England 7,000

North East 450

North West 1,200

Yorks and Humberside 750

East Midlands 500

West Midlands 925

East of England 650

London 1,025

South East 925

South West 575

Northern Ireland 200

Scotland 850

Wales 550

Barnardo’s works with more than 200,000 children, young people and their families each year.  Barnardo’s runs more than 900 services across the UK.

We work to transform the lives of the UK’s most vulnerable children and every year we help thousands of families to build a better future. But we cannot do it without you. Visit www.barnardos.org.uk to find out how you can get involved and show you believe in children.

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