A FOSTERING agency has launched a new recruitment campaign in a bid to combat the lack of foster carers in Hampshire.

Blue Sky Fostering, based in Romsey, Swanwick and Basingstoke, have launched their September campaign 'Fostering New Beginnings' which aims to reach people who could provide a home for a vulnerable child.

According to Blue Sky Fostering, The South East has a deficit of 1,020 foster families - the second largest in England.

Approximately 7,220 foster families are needed in England and this figure is set to rise further.

Foster carers can provide children in need with a fresh start in life by introducing care, nurture, support and safety.

Blue Sky founder, Simon Lockyer, said: "Fostering is a challenging but rewarding career. In addition to helping end a cycle of neglect which could positively impact future generation, you’ll also be making new friends, building a new career, socialising with other fostering families and learning important new skills.

"All that, whilst receiving 24/7 support, comprehensive training and many other benefits for both you and your family.”

Kevin French, a Blue Sky Foster carer, said: "Absolutely get stuck in, just go for it. You’ve got nothing to lose, but a whole lot to gain.

"Fostering, for us, has been everything and more than we ever dreamed it could be.”

A spokesperson from the fostering agency said: "Enabling children and young people to have a new beginning that encompasses this way of life, is vital for their well-being as well as breaking the cycle of neglect.

"For children and young people in care, being cared for by a foster carer could be the only safe and nurturing environment they’ve experienced, however there’s currently not enough carers to provide these new beginnings these young people deserve."

The added: "It’s not just the children who will benefit from the new beginnings that fostering brings, foster carers also begin a journey like no other, opening doors into a new career changing lives and making a difference."

For more information on fostering and other drop in events, visit www.blueskyfostering.com or call them on 0800 035 6499.