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Cornwall's Fostering Appeal

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9:20am 23rd May 2013

A teenager who graduated from Fifteen Cornwall says he would be in prison or dead if it was not for his foster family.

Pirate FM has learnt more than 470 children are in Cornwall Council's care at the moment.

The authority says it is facing a shortage of carers and is urging more potential families to come forward.

Eighteen year old Ryan was taken into the care of the local authority in 2010 and spent the remainder of his childhood living with foster carers in north Cornwall.

He applied to Fifteen Cornwall's Foundation when he was 16 years old and after graduating from Watergate Bay, has now been offered a permanent job at Jamie Oliver's London restaurant Barbecoa.

Ryan says his foster family helped him turn his life around: "My 'foster carers' aren't that, they are my family and they, along with everyone in our family, have helped and supported me beyond belief. Even when I was in trouble at school or with the law they helped me through it like any family should. They all mean the world to me and I love them to bits. They have always been there for me till the end, especially during this last year, and that is all I could have ever asked for!

"I feel like I've made my family proud with where I am in now in my life compared with where I was three years ago when I first met them. I am also very proud because I stuck at it which has changed my life - and smug to a certain extent because I've proved many people wrong. Many people thought I couldn't do it, and obviously I have."

Steve and Les looked after Ryan and said: "We're so proud of Ryan - he's worked really hard for this.

"We've supported him all the way and there's also been a lot of other support around him from the fostering team - we feel like it is a team achievement."

Cornwall Council is holding a drop-in evening on Thursday 23rd May at New County Hall from 8pm, for potential foster families.

Anyone who is considering becoming a carer is being urged to contact the fostering team on 01872 323638 or at www.cornwall.gov.uk/fostering

9:20am 23rd May 2013

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