A DEDICATED foster-carer from Hucknall has made a heartfelt plea for more volunteers to come forward and give disadvantaged youngsters a better chance in life.
Pat Wyllie (66) has opened her home, with husband Robert (66), to newborn babies, for 17 years.
Now she has spoken out as part of Foster Care Fortnight.
The number of youngsters in the care of Notts County Council is on the increase — from 590 in March 2010 to 667 in March this year.
But the council is struggling to cope because many of its foster carers are reaching retirement age.
At least ten new foster-homes in the Hucknall, Ashfield and Mansfield area are needed to meet demand.
Pat said: “We wanted to become foster carers because we felt it would be something we would enjoy doing because our own family was growing up so fast.
“We really have enjoyed fostering as a family and have gained a lot from doing it together.
“We all have so many special memories of the babies that we have been able to look after and move on to adoption.
“I would have no hesitation in saying to other people that if they are thinking about fostering, just give it a try.
“It is a very special job and you get so much back from everyone involved. Knowing that, as a family, we have helped babies, children and their families makes it all worthwhile.”
To register an interest in becoming a foster carer, call 0845 3018899 or visit www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk.