A foster carer has urged her fellow East Renfrewshire residents to consider opening their heart and home up to a young person.

Lynda Webb has spoken out as part of a campaign being run by the local authority to find more people willing to foster youths aged between 16 and 21 who are not ready to live on their own.

Previously a civil servant for 20 years, Lynda decided she wanted to lend a helping hand to the younger generations and has been supporting 19-year-old Ross since 2014.

The Thornliebank woman first got involved in fostering with husband Andy seven years ago – a move she describes as "one of the best decisions we ever made".

She said: “I saw adverts that foster carers were needed and it played on my mind. I spoke to my husband about it and then we decided to contact the council and someone came out to chat to us. I also got to speak to another foster carer and ask lots of questions, which really helped.

“My twin boys were only 14 when we started so they were a huge consideration. We spoke about it as a family, involved them in the process and decided to go for it.

“It really has been one of the best decisions we ever made.

“It’s so rewarding being a foster carer and having a teen with the family is different. There are no dirty nappies or dealing with the terrible twos, instead you provide stability and support them with things like education, money management, transport, job searches and the like.

“With my own boys now 21, he’s fitted in really well with the family. He’s also from the area so it meant where we live is familiar and he had more confidence to get out and about.

“At 16 you would be free to get your own place or go into supported housing, but there are so many teens out there that want to live in a family home and would get so much out of doing so.”

Lynda added: “I would say to anyone thinking about fostering to just find out more and then you can make an informed decision about whether it’s right for you. The support and development you get from East Renfrewshire Council is second to none and ask yourself – why couldn’t you foster?”

Those over the age of 21 who have a spare bedroom and would like to open up their home to a young person should visit www.eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk/foster or call 0141 577 8300.