Protecting vulnerable children

Chelsea youngsters achieving football dream thanks to foster mum’s help

Peter (left) and Joe in action

As Chelsea prepare for Saturday’s Champions League final, two of the club’s young players talk about how they are achieving their football dream thanks to the help of their foster mum.

With Foster Care Fortnight kicking off (14 May) in the same week Chelsea play Bayern Munich in the European final, Peter and Joe explain how 42-year-old Alison has helped them as they aim to follow in the footsteps of Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Ashley Cole.

Alison fosters for Surrey County Council and she gave Ugandan twins Peter and Joe a home more than five years ago when they were aged 14.

The boys are now 19 and are part of Chelsea Football Club’s youth development squad. They study for a BTEC qualification in sport and practice at the club’s Cobham training ground. They still live with Alison.

The pair were spotted by the FA Cup holders at an event at Sandown Park and Peter said: “Years later, we’re now at the Chelsea Football Academy with every hope of a golden future.”

Joe said: “Alison has done so much for us and that’s why we take every opportunity to get involved in promoting fostering and helping other children like us to get placed in a loving family.

“We are both members of the Care Council, an organisation that’s for looked after children in Surrey. We discuss things that are important to children and young people in care, interview new workers and train professionals, including foster carers.”

Mary Angell, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “Peter and Joe are wonderful examples of how fostering can help to changes people’s lives and I wish them all the best on the pitch and in life.”

For more information about fostering, visit www.surreycc.gov.uk/fostering or call 08000 96 96 26. Alternatively email fostering.recruitment@surreycc.gov.uk.

Notes for editors

* Foster Care Fortnight runs to 27 May. It aims to raise awareness of fostering and the need for more carers to come forward.

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