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Foster Care Fortnight and Foster Walk gets an Olympic Boost


FCF Fatima Whitbread (1)

During Foster Care Fortnight (13-26 May 2024), Fatima Whitbread MBE, Olympic athlete and a champion for care experienced children, took on this year’s Foster Walk challenge alongside boosting The Fostering Network’s campaign for support.

Fatima crossed the UK to join us on four back-to-back Foster Walk events during Foster Care Fortnight, with one taking place locally in Derry. She joined foster families, fostering services, supporters and friends to help raise funds for The Fostering Network and to raise awareness of the need for more people to foster.

On Thursday 23 May, Fatima joined a walk across the Peace Bridge to Ebrington, returning to Guildhall Square accompanied by HSC NI Foster carers and their families, to promote the importance of foster care within the Western Trust area. She also met the Derry City and Strabane District Council Mayor in the Guildhall before her walk.

During her visit to Northern Ireland, Fatima also attended the NI Civil Service Sports Association in Belfast, meeting the Children’s Commissioner, Chris Quinn and spent some time with young people in foster care, their foster carers and fostering services in the local area.

Fatima shared her positive experiences of foster care and how it was transformative in her life, contributing to her determination to become a world class Olympian.

FCF Fatima Whitbread (2)During her visit to Derry Fatima spoke of her support for Foster Care Fortnight, Fatima MBE said:

“I have first-hand experience of how foster care can change lives. That’s why I’m dedicated to building a better future for those in the care system. I know change is possible when people come together to work for a shared vision.

“It was my privilege to meet with and celebrate fostering families during my visit to Derry and join them on a walk across the city. I would encourage more of the local community to come forward and consider becoming foster carers to make a real difference to the lives of children and young people.”

To find out how you could become part of HSC NI Foster Care’s fostering community, call 0800 0720 137 or visit