AS local authorities in Wales are celebrating Foster Carers across Wales, Nathan Wyburn wants to shine a light on the work Newport City Council’s foster carers do, as the Civic Centre clock tower will also light up in orange this Foster Care Fortnight.
While many of us have had family and friends there to support us during difficult times faced over the last year, many children and young people across Wales need that support more than ever before.
Now, as Foster Care Fortnight – national awareness-raising and recruitment campaign run by The Fostering Network – begins, the council is calling on more people in Newport to consider fostering.
With this year’s theme being ‘#WhyWeCare’, Welsh artist, Nathan Wyburn, who is known for his unique methods of creating art, has produced a piece using LED lights to help prove how any house can become a safe and loving home.
“I was sent a poem that encompassed everything foster carers do in providing a brighter future for children across Wales and wanted to create something that champions them in the way they open the doors to their homes – and their hearts.
“I chose to turn those words into art with a piece that signifies a home being the literal light at the end of the tunnel for children and young people.
“I think one of the biggest myths around fostering is that you have to have a big house with a big garden to be a foster carer – and that’s just not true.”
A video showing a time-lapse of the piece coming together and overlaid with said poem shows how the context of the art is unclear.
“It’s only when the lights are switched on, there is clarity,” adds Nathan. “A sense of possibility and positivity shines through.”
Now people across Newport are being asked to show their support for Foster Care Fortnight by placing a lamp in their front window next Thursday (20 May) to “shine a light” on the work being done by local authority foster carers, and celebrate their efforts in transforming children and young people’s lives. Buildings across Wales, including the Civic Centre, will also be up in orange to observe the remarkable work they do.
Hundreds of new foster families are needed every year in Wales to care for children of all ages and, in particular, for sibling groups, older children and young people, children with additional needs, and unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.