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Meet Alison

I was in banking for 25 years and I enjoyed my job. I had worked my way up over the years and I was happy, settled and didn’t have money worries. I just always had this nagging thought that something was missing and an underlying feeling of unfulfillment. I wanted to make a difference in the world and to make my children proud of me. It sounds a bit morbid I know, but when I’m not here; what do I want people to remember me for? That Alison had a nice house and car? Success in life is not about chasing materialistic things, it's about making memories and being grateful.

Becoming a foster carer has always been in the back of mind, but the time never seemed to be quite right. I have 4 children of my own who have all now grown up and moved out.

I was in banking for 25 years and I enjoyed my job. I had worked my way up over the years and I was happy, settled and didn’t have money worries. I just always had this nagging thought that something was missing and an underlying feeling of unfulfillment. I wanted to make a difference in the world and to make my children proud of me. It sounds a bit morbid I know, but when I’m not here; what do I want people to remember me for? That Alison had a nice house and car? Success in life is not about chasing materialistic things, it's about making memories and being grateful.

I don’t want to have any regrets nor to have not made an impact on the world.

It was a scary prospect to begin with, but then the pandemic hit putting things firmly into perspective. An opportunity for a redundancy package came up at work and I decided it was time to be brave. I had seen a lot of adverts for fostering and decided to go for it.

My family and friends were initially quite shocked when I told them I was going to become a foster carer. It seemed quite a difference in career for me! But once the shock had worn off, they have been nothing but supportive of my journey.

The assessment process took around a year in all, and I continued to work full time the whole way through. Excel Fostering were brilliant at fitting in around my work schedule for appointments. I still found it quite hard as the process was very intense and each call felt like a therapy session.

Once I had been approved, I finished work in the June thinking I might have a bit of a break and a holiday. Nine days later, I received a call about a 2-year-old boy. I said yes and have never looked back. He is still with me now.

I was very nervous before M arrived. I was used to his age group because of my grandchildren, but it was more that I wanted so much for him to feel safe and secure with me. Four previous placements had broken down. I was very conscious of how scary it must be for M coming into a new home again. For around the first month, I was with him 24/7 until he felt settled and during that time, he didn’t sleep very well which was quite tough going for us both.

I can’t describe how much of a joy M has been and how far he has come on since coming to live with me. You can read more of his story here.

The absolute best thing about being a foster carer is exactly this… seeing just how far M has come. I have had 10 months of seeing him blossom which has been incredible.

To anyone thinking about becoming a foster carer…

… I would say, go for it! Don’t be scared – isn’t life always scary anyway? It will be a challenge and at times you will wonder if you really can do it. You can! Don’t live with regrets. Your life will change for the better, you will have a new purpose and feel truly fulfilled.

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