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Cash appeal for looked after children's trip of a lifetime

Published on Tuesday, 20th September 2016 in Fostering, adopting and looked after children news

The Looked After Children's Council fundraise for their trip to Poland.

Chief executives, councillors and local Rotherham leaders have paired up with the town’s looked after children in a bid to boost their dream to get to Poland.

The 14-strong Looked After Children’s Council (LACC) have set their hearts on being able to travel to Poland in order to fulfil the dream of one of their group – Simon.

Three years ago 16-year-old Simon hit rock bottom after his Polish heritage father died.

Devastated, the youngster – who is currently in foster care - vowed he would one day return to his father’s homeland with the aim of understanding his heritage. However, getting there seemed an impossible dream.

That was until Councillor Brian Steele and Ian Thomas, Strategic Director of Children’s Services at the Council, heard of his plight and said they would do something to make his dream come true. This vision was backed by Chief Executive Sharon Kemp and senior leaders across the Rotherham Together Partnership, who also pledged their support to raise the finances to not only send Simon to Poland, but also all of the rest of the Looked After Children’s Council (LACC), which Simon is part of.

And this weekend Ian and Councillor Steele led a ten mile walk around Thrybergh Country Park alongside the LACC while Sharon and key partners of Rotherham Together Partnership last week ran a marathon at Herringthorpe Stadium. Sponsorship from all who took part is starting to trickle in – with the total raised so far at £1,600 – but more cash still needs to be raised in order to meet the £9,000 target.

More events are planned in the next few months but anyone can still donate using the JustGiving crowdfunding link below. 

Cllr Steele, who took part in the sponsored walk, said: “It is great to see the money raised so far, and that is testament to the generosity of Rotherham people. These children have had a hard enough beginning to their life, but something like the experience of this trip could make all the difference to their futures.”

Other people have also pledged their support, including Young Inspectors chair Ashlea Harvey, who has held a bake sale and also organised an exercise bike to be installed in the entrance of the Council’s Riverside building for a continuous sponsored cycle. Staff members across the Council will be taking part with the aim to tot up the distance to Poland from Rotherham – 1,180 miles.

Simon said: “I am just so grateful to all the people who want to raise this money to send us all to Poland. I miss my Dad so much and to be able to visit the place where he was from and what made him the person he was is a dream of a lifetime for me. Thank you to everyone who has already pledged their support and please, please get behind this good cause and help us all to live my dream. I know this will have a tremendous effect on me and my peers, if we get to go.”

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