One year ago, Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC) planted a tree in Town Hall Square in partnership with Ethical Reading, Reading Borough Council and the Reading Tree Wardens.

The tree-planting, on 17 February 2020, was the brainwave of a 15-year-old boy, Nick*, who suggested it be planted to help young people in care, like him, who have had to move away from Reading to feel ‘rooted’ in the town. The cherry blossom tree stands tall outside Reading Town Hall and is now adorned with solar lights for some extra sparkle in the darker months.

BFfC has more than 270 children and young people in its care. Some of these young people, like Nick, have to live outside Reading because there is a shortage of Reading-based foster carers.

BFfC is launching a campaign to find more local foster carers, particularly for teenagers, so more young people in care can stay in Reading, where they belong. The campaign tells the story of Jade*, a 17-year-old girl, who has been in care since she was nine.

Jade said: “I’m really lucky because I live with my foster carer in Reading which means I’m close to my friends and family.”

Could you help a young person like Jade stay rooted in Reading by becoming a foster carer? To become a foster carer, you need a space in your heart for young people and a spare room in your home. BFfC provides good training and recognises the value of its foster carers with a financial package.

Read Jade’s story at:

Contact BFfC’s fostering team by email or call 0118 469 3020.

*Names have been changed to protect identities