AN exhibition to mark the start of Foster Care Fortnight has been unveiled by East Renfrewshire Council to highlight the wonderful work of their “treasured” foster carers.

The photography exhibition, which will appear at venues throughout the area, tell the stories of six of the region’s foster carers.

Foster Care Fortnight started yesterday, May 15, and will run until May 28.

All of the six families, who either live in East Renfrewshire or the Greater Glasgow area, have been foster carers for the council for several years.

Barrhead News: Ann Marie Ann Marie (Image: Supplied)

The longest serving carer is Ann Marie who has looked after children for 23 years, while Peter and Irene closely follow with 18 years of care.

Peter said: “We have been lucky to have a healthy, happy family.

“When it was time for them to move on and start their own adult lives we wanted to give something back and fostering was the perfect way to do that.

“We started by doing short breaks for children and that quickly evolved into us becoming full-time foster carers.

“Over the years we’ve had children at all ages and stages of life and all equally as memorable and special as each other.

“Fostering is not without its challenges – in fact they are daily – but the joy and rewards far outweigh them.”

Barrhead News: Peter and IrenePeter and Irene (Image: East Renfrewshire Council)

Another carer Lynda, who looks after youngsters with her partner Andy, said: “Being a foster carer has changed our lives for the better.

“We have built long-lasting relationships with all our young people.

“In fact, not that long ago a birthday card arrived from a young girl who had stayed with us which said ‘I wouldn’t be here without you.’

“That really hit home the difference we are making and reminded us that this isn’t just a vocation – it’s a calling in life.”

Carers across the local authority provide different types of care for youngsters including short breaks to longer placements, and with more young people in need of care every year, the council say there is a significant need for more foster carers.

The photography exhibition follows the launch of an advertising campaign across East Renfrewshire when residents were invited to consider fostering as a way of making a real difference in youngsters lives.

The exhibition will run until mid-July and will pop up at a number of locations across the area.

Barrhead News: Angus, Calum, and Andrea Angus, Calum, and Andrea (Image: Supplied)

Starting at the Barrhead Foundry, it will also appear at Morrisons in Giffnock, Clarkston Hall, Netherlee Pavilion, and Montgomery Hall in Eaglesham.

Cllr Katie Pragnell, convener for health and social care at East Renfrewshire Council, said: “Fostering is a wonderful service that remarkable people provide for a young person in need of a secure and nurturing environment in their lives.

“The carers featured in this touring exhibition give an insight into what motivates people to make a difference to the lives of others, and the challenges and rewards of fostering.

“East Renfrewshire Council is actively encouraging more people from different backgrounds to provide a whole range of fostering placements, whether short-term or for longer periods.

“We think the stories of the carers in this exhibition will help raise the profile of fostering at the start of Foster Care Fortnight when the service is given deserved recognition and celebrated.”