Max is a 21 month old, Fox Red Labrador and he has recently begun training to be a ‘therapet’. Max belongs to our Fostering Support Worker Rachel Sweeney who qualified in April 2014 as an Animal Assisted Therapy Practitioner and worked with children with and her Therapet at the time Issie. Unfortunately, Issie developed health issues and pet therapy was put on hold. Max has been with Rachel since October 2018 when he was just 9 weeks old and heis a fun loving pup who loves affections and someone to play with.

In order to get him used to busy environments, Max had been visiting our Burnley office and recently started training with the help of our young people. One young person’s feedback was “I hope we get to use him again because he is a really good and funny dog, thank you.” Another young person commented “I loved it, every minute I was with him was so funny I could not stop laughing.”

The short term plan is for Max to finish his training and continue to be able to support children and young people at Excel Fostering. We’re sure he will become a very popular member of the team!

Animal Assisted Therapy utilises the unconditional relationship qualities of animals to enrich therapeutic experiences. The human-canine team work to enhance the child’s social, emotional and cognitive functioning. The bond between a child and animal is natural, non-judgemental and teaches empathy and compassion. It can also support children with a host of other skills such as; fine motor, gross motor, sensory regulation, emotional regulation and social skills to name a few.

We will keep you posted on Max’s training and progress. Hopefully you’ll all meet him soon!


Here at Excel Fostering, we are always willing to get involved and help out in our local communities and when the opportunity came about to help out another local football club, we couldn’t resist and wanted to be involved. We’re delighted to be kit sponsor for the U7 ‘Jets’ West Coast Sports team for the upcoming 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons.

We believe in allowing children, whatever their background, to have opportunities to take part in things they are passionate about. They should feel like they are equal and football clubs like West Coast Sports helps to keep children and young people from all walks of life off the streets and into sports, whilst teaching them to work as a team and develop key skills.

West Coast Sports was established in April 2019 by former Army Football coach Justin Singleton, to provide 1-2-1 coaching to individual players of all ages across the Fylde Coast. This was to help develop players in a safe environment and compliment their football training alongside their grassroots teams. As West Coast Sports quickly gained momentum, individual sessions became more bespoke. Preparing players for trials at academy level and also signposting some to development teams such as Lancaster City and Chorley FC.

Justin said “Without team sponsorship, West Coast Sports’ teams would struggle to exist. Starting up a young age group is always difficult practically and financially. The team have really benefited from the sponsorship of Excel Fostering and now have a brand new kit to play in along with rain jackets. The kit is on order and we can’t wait to see their smiling faces once they don club colours to play in their first ever match as U7’s this season.

It is extremely generous of Excel Fostering to help West Coast Sports with the burden of purchasing a new kit. Without a playing kit, you cannot enter into a league which means children would have to continue to just train without the added benefit of small sided football matches. This means a great deal to the Jets and we are very thankful for the sponsorship.”

On behalf of everyone at Excel Fostering, we would like to wish Justin and the team all the best for the seasons ahead. Go Jets!

You can stay updated on West Coast Sports via their Facebook page, here:


Lytham YMCA Under 10s

Helping out in our local communities is at the heart of Excel’s values, especially when it comes to children and young people. We have been the proud sponsors of local side Lytham St Annes YMCA Football Club (LSAYMCA FC) for a couple of years now. Our journey began when the club started at the under 7’s level but now at under 10’s, we still remain as committed as ever by supporting the club with kits and training essentials.

Having a local opportunity like this for children is great! Not only does it keep them fit and active, it also encourages them to be outside in the fresh air for a couple of hours a week, away from their technology devices with other children their age, whilst developing team work skills. For some children, a club like this can mean the world to them and it’s enjoyable seeing the passion they have for football and that’s what drives us on to support them as much as we can.

Richard (LSAYMCA FC manager) said:

“Excel Fostering have sponsored our football team since we started at under 7’s. When I first contacted Excel Fostering, the staff were so positive and responsive and have continued that way whenever we’ve touched base with them. Since then they have generously helped out team with full kits, hoodies, warm jackets for those cold morning and more recently tracksuit tops.  We are now under 10’s and I know all the players and parents, including myself will always be indebted to Excel Fostering for the help they have provided.”

A big thank you to Richard and the team for all the effort and dedication they put in. It really does make a difference to young lives and we look forward to supporting the club further as they grow!

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