Lesley, our lovely foster carer based in the Midlands recently got in touch to share a an incredible story about D who is placed with her.

D took part in The Big Clim and climbed his stairs 517 times, which is the equivalent to Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis (elevation: 1,345m). The aim was to raise money for the NSPCC and help vulnerable children during these difficult times.

He started very well with the first 65 climbs completed in 20 minutes. He was going strong and reached 100 by 08.35am. After a short rest, he carried on and had completed another 100 just under an hour later. The sugary sweets helped!

Dedicated to carry on, by 10.32am he had completed another 100. A total of 300 upward climbs (not including downward climbs)! Poor D started to get carpets burns but after a little delay and armed in his new trainers, he was ready to smash the next 100!

By 11.40am, he had completed another 117 climbs. Please note, that he is actually walking double the distance as it only includes upward climbs (we’re worn out just writing this!). Another 100 climbs after lunch and it was job done, D was smashing it!

13:36pm – 517 climbs (and 517 descends) completed, now on the final climb and D was still doing 2 step strides. The distance D had climbed was the equivalent to Ben Nevis, all to help children at risk of abuse.

The NSPCC had this to say to him:

“Together we’ve made a huge difference to the lives of children, which are particularly challenging for some during the recent period of lockdown.

Since the start of January, Childline has delivered almost 7,000 counselling sessions to children and young people who have got in touch about the coronavirus. We have also heard some distressing stories from children who have had suicidal thoughts and talk about feeling trapped and isolated.

But it’s thanks to your generosity that we can make sure these children aren’t going through this alone. Your support can help us keep Childline running – making sure this life-saving service is still here for children.”

D is an incredible inspiration to us all. You are a star!

If you would like to donate to D’s cause, please click here to visit his donation page.

My girlfriend and I began our fostering journey 10 years ago but have been fostering with Capstone Foster Care for the last 7 years. My parents fostered so we always had children around the house when I was growing up and it was always something, I wanted to do myself. My girlfriend shared the same ambition and so we decided to become foster parents.

When explaining to our foster children about moving from fostering to adoption, we found it difficult to explain to them what was going to happen. The books we did find were about animals, there was nothing that they could relate to. This gave me the idea to write my own books for foster children that would help them understand what was going to happen through short sentences and illustrations.

Initially I wanted to use them to help children in our care but then thought it could also help other foster parents and the children in their care, so I decided to self-publish them on Amazon. The feedback I have received has been fantastic.

I get all of my inspiration from my foster children. When I don’t have a placement, I become blank but it’s when we have children with us, I will develop ideas based on what they are learning or growing through to try and make their experience better. I know my books have helped the children we have looked after and hopefully they will help many more.

My first book was called “My Forever Family”, and it’s about a young boy called Oliver as he goes through the ups and downs of the ‘fostering to adoption’ process. The book is simple and easy to understand with illustrations to help children of different ages. Being a foster carer myself, I struggled to find a simple way to explain the process to the young foster children, especially toddlers and young children that were moving on to ‘forever families’.

Then I came up with the idea for this book, a story of the basic process. It has helped me and my foster children and hopefully it will help many others.

My second book (He wants to be a Princess) is all about equality, inclusion and acceptance which was inspired by another foster child who was really interested in princess cartoons and toys – he loved them! We had no issues with this at all and my girlfriend even went out to buy him his own princess dress that he could wear around the house. That’s when I thought, there is a book here… Then, the very next day he changed his mind and wanted to be a dinosaur!

The story is told through rhyme with an ideal introduction to the ever-changing and more acceptable world we live in today. Teaching children that they can be whoever they want to be even if it doesn’t conform to other people’s views. Whether that’s being LGBTQ+ or just their fashion, career choice or even their choice of friends.

Anything is possible and they should be free to choose how they live their lives. What a boring place the world would be if we were all the same.

My latest book is called ‘Cedric’s Plan to Save the World’ which is all about educating children (and adults) about the environmental issues. A seagull called Cedric, travels around the world and sees the devastation caused by man, forest fires, global warming and littering – the world is a mess. He then meets little Susie who gives him the inspiration for his plan to save the world, but he is going to need the help of the readers (the children). Working together, Cedric knows that we can make the world a better place. It’s a delightful rhyming picture book that teaches and inspires children about the environment and encourages them to play their part.

This book was actually inspired by the little one we have in placement now who is currently learning about the environment in school and I felt this was an idea opportunity to help educate children in a fun and engaging way.

I just want to help people (children and adults) by educating them through storytelling. I really enjoy it and find it very therapeutic. I am always thinking of new stories and I am currently working on a new book which will be released in due course.

Please feel free to follow each story on Instagram:


I really appreciate all of the support and if you would like to order any of the stories discussed, they are available on Amazon, here: www.bit.ly/nbrookes

On Saturday 7th December 2019, Capstone Midlands held their annual Children’s Christmas Party at Whitemoor Lakes in Lichfield. Slightly different from previous years, as this event featured outdoor activities such as zip lining, rock climbing and agility courses. For the younger children the team organised art and crafts along with face painting and indoor entertainment from Mr Twister. Those who know the Midlands team well, will know that food is always involved! They kept up tradition with a Christmas dinner being served around lunch time for all.

Over 170 carers and children attended the event and celebrated with the team. Carers had the opportunity to get together without the children to chat about what has been happening, what they were up to over the festive period, along with generally catch up with one another and the staff.

One of our carers said:

“It was brilliant, and the kids absolutely loved it. Our young man was a bit disappointed that he couldn’t go on the climbing wall because it was for children aged 8 and over, however the crafts and seeing Santa, more than made up for that and he absolutely loved the magician. In fact, we have now bought him his very own Spinning Plate!”

Throughout the year the team make a conscious effort to organise as many opportunities to get together as they can with carers and children. The regular summer event and Christmas celebration is always planned with the children in mind and inspired by previous events. This year our Midlands team have a Support Worker in place and there will be even more local activities planned for carers and children to attend and spend time with the team. Some of the team don’t have regular contact with the children and families so it’s important to share these activities together as it gives staff the opportunity to build relationships with the families and children.

Sunjay, Placements Coordinator, said:

“For me it brings my job to life. In placements it starts with a referral – you read about this child or children, but don’t get to see them often. We hear how they are doing and chat with carers via the telephone but to see them as a family at events makes you feel proud.”

Regional Director, Sara added: “Our Christmas party is one of my favourite times of the year. It is so brilliant to catch up with everyone and watch the children enjoy the activities. The best bit is seeing their faces when Santa arrives… it’s just magical. This event is when we can all see the results of the amazing work our foster carers and staff do all year round.”

We look forward to moving into the New Year and spending more time with our Children and Carers in 2020.

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