Seven Guernsey Posties took part in a 100 mile cycling tour of the Channel Islands on Saturday with the aim of raising the profile of the Guernsey Foster Care and Adoption Association (GFCAA) and the need for foster carers on the island.
The ambitious team had planned to cycle 80 miles around Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and Jersey. However, strong winds forced the team to amend their route; instead they cycled twice around Guernsey before travelling to Jersey. These last minute changes added another 20 miles to the cycle challenge!
Postie Steve Sheppard said that the team were thrilled with the support they received:
"It was a tough ride and the weather certainly wasn't on our side but we enjoyed every minute of it! The support from the Guernsey community has been second to none and we hope that we have achieved our goal; increasing the awareness of the Family Placement Service and the Guernsey Foster Care and Adoption Association.
It would be great to think that, by highlighting the importance of the association, we may have encouraged the recruitment of new, much needed, foster carers on the island."
All of the money raised from the challenge will be donated directly to the GFCAA, this will enable the charity to organise events to help enrich the lives of local foster and adopted Children.
Karen Reade, Guernsey Family Placement Service Team Manager said:
"Thank you so much to the Guernsey Post team who undertook the Tour Des Isles Challenge. We are so appreciative of their support and that of Guernsey Post. The profile of fostering was certainly raised and the sponsorship money will go towards an event for the children which the GFCAA will arrange.
Thanks must also go to Postie John Smith and his band 'The end of Days' for donating all of their proceeds from Saturday's performance at the Dog House to the Guernsey Foster Care and Adoption Association.
The Guernsey Post team would also like to thank all of the volunteers who braved the weather and joined them on Saturday for their first circuit of Guernsey.
Additionally thank you to Jersey Post for allowing the team to use their bikes in Jersey.
Posties pictured at the finish (left to right)
Wayne Batiste, Shane Toms, Paul Wakeham, Paul Lovell, Steve Sheppard, Jason Le Ray & Steve O'Connor
The Guernsey Foster Care and Adoption Association, founded in 1985, is a charity whose members are foster carers and adoptive parents. It was formed originally to support and inform foster carers, but it was soon realised that people who adopt children especially older children also need a support network.
Looking after children, who for many reasons can be challenging, is not always easy, but the more support and information the family has access to the more successfully children can be helped.
The Association holds regular events where carers and adopters can form informal support networks that are invaluable during difficult times in the lives of the children they care for. They can also share their experiences and learn from one another at fostering and adoption support groups.
We try to organise events that will enrich the lives of foster and adopted children who may have been deprived in some ways in their early life. We have organised trips and walks, BBQs, rock pooling afternoons, craft days as well as beetle, bingo and film evenings. We also enjoy a trip to the pantomime every year. We have held camps and hope to arrange a residential in Lihou Island in the near future. We are also planning to arrange a trip to Jersey. We produce a regular newsletter to inform every one of support groups and training as well as social events.
Members of the Association provide individual support for carers often at unsociable hours.
We work closely with Social Services, but remain independent and able to act as an advocate for carers if needed.
We initiate training in response to the needs of carers and children, working together with social services.