Great South Run: Portsmouth foster scheme hopes to boost diversity through families taking part in the race

A FOSTERING scheme in Portsmouth is hoping for a boost in support and participation as its foster families take part in the returning Great South Run.

Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 12:14 pm

A total of nine foster carers and one fostered young person will take part in the adults’ 10-mile course around the city on Sunday, October 17.

Foster Portsmouth is on a drive for a more diverse range of foster carers, with the council-run organisation hoping to raise awareness through the Great South Run.

Ruth Jones, who along with husband Glen, is running for the Foster Portsmouth team and has fostered with Portsmouth City Council for six years, said: ‘It is great to have something to aim for and the Great South Run is a fantastic opportunity to help raise the profile of Foster Portsmouth and the necessary recruitment of additional foster families.’

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Ruth and Glen Jones live on the Isle of Wight and have fostered for over 18 years, the past six of which have been for Foster Portsmouth

‘Glen runs marathons but is planning a personal best time for this year's Great South Run so has still been training hard to work up his speed.

‘The course will be a bit more of a challenge for me as the furthest I've run in training so far is six miles, though I do that weekly.’

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Anyone aged over 18 years old with a spare bedroom can foster, regardless of whether they rent or own their own home. Foster carers training and 24/7 support, including fees and allowances.

Councillor Suzy Horton, deputy leader and cabinet member for children, families and education at Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘Not only are our foster carers dedicated to the wellbeing of the children and young people in their care, but their support for the service and help raising awareness of the necessity to secure further stable homes for those in need is second to none.’

Last year’s Great South Run was cancelled just two months before it was due to take place, due to Covid-19 restrictions.

This year's route will begin from South Parade in Southsea, with thousands of runners due to set off along to Clarence Esplanade.

The mini, junior and 5k runs will take place on Saturday, October 16.

More information about Foster Portsmouth be found at foster.portsmouth.gov.uk.

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