A PLANTED figure of a girl reading a book was the centerpiece of a council’s stand at a renowned country show.
Cheshire West and Chester Council’s display at the Cheshire Show highlighted its campaign to recruit more foster carers and adopters.
The three-foot high figure was set among plants and items typically found in a family garden to promote the message that every child deserves a family.
The ‘garden’ featured a carved wooden storytelling chair which was used to host story time sessions for young visitors.
The stand also hosted a crafts area where youngsters were able to take part in a range of activities, including writing messages to hang from a ‘family tree’.
Members of the council’s fostering and adoption team were on hand to explain to visitors the background to this year’s theme and offer further information about fostering and adoption.
Cheshire West and Chester Council currently has more than 400 children in its care but only 300 places available with foster carers.
A campaign is under way to find the missing 100 places, which could be filled by either individuals or couples who are able to open up their home to a child on a short-term or long-term basis through fostering, or by offering a permanent home via adoption.
Activities to promote the campaign have included schools across the borough planting 100 bulbs which have flowered in the shape of the figure 100.
The council’s stand also profiled the work of the Street Scene Team through its attractive planting – pollen-rich to attract bees and butterflies – and promoted the countryside events programme delivered by the team.
The stand was highly commended in the Trade Stand category.
Cllr Bob Rudd, Lord Mayor of Chester and chairman of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “We are proud to once again be a principal partner of the Cheshire Show, which is a fantastic celebration of our strong agricultural history and economy.
“The warm weather no doubt helped to draw the huge crowds we have seen over the two days, and I was delighted to see so many people visiting our eye-catching stand, which had some fantastic activities for families to enjoy.
“I hope the children and adults who stopped by will talk to their families and friends about the campaign, helping us to raise awareness of the urgent need for more foster carers and adopters in West Cheshire.
“My congratulations go to everyone involved in organising such a successful event.”
Foster carers and adopters are needed for children and young people of all ages, but in particular, children aged over five, teenagers, siblings, children with disabilities, and a parent and child.
No qualifications or special experience is necessary, just a commitment and willingness to learn.
Anyone wishing to find out more about fostering or adoption should text SMILE to 80010, call the recruitment team on 01244 972222 or visit www.smileadoptionand fostering.co.uk