FAMILIES across Flintshire are being encouraged to look after disabled youngsters for a couple of nights and give their parents a well earned break.

Six children, aged eight to 15, are on the waiting list for short breaks in the county.
The youngsters, with autism, ADHD and epilepsy, are seeking carers for a couple of nights while their parents take time to recharge their batteries.

Louise and Gordon Goodwin, from Mancot, are short break carers for Lucy aged 14.

“We love Lucy coming to stay,” they said.

“She has lots of fun with our three children; playing dolls, face painting and making tents.

“She likes to go to swimming and shopping. She comes after school on Friday and stays until Sunday night.

“We chat to her parents before each visit and we also get great support from the fostering team. We have attended training to learn more about disability and meet other carers.

“We like to know we are helping another family and its fun.”

The campaign is part of Share the Care Week and Flintshire council’s fostering department are urging people to help.

Radio 1 Jo Whiley is backing the campaign for a very personal reason.

“My sister Francis has learning disabilities,” said Jo.

“We grew up together; and there were times when it was really difficult. Francis didn’t like sleeping very much and we used to go for days and nights without any kind of sleep.

“It was particularly hard for my mum and dad because they were looking after her 24/7 and at times they came to breaking point.

“Life would have been a lot easier if they had had people just to take Francis out even if it was for a couple of hours. If it was for a day, if it was for a night, that would have been amazing.”

For more information, call 01352 701000 or visit www.flintshire.gov.uk/foster.