New Fostering Agency opens its doors in our region
East Bergholt based Eastern Family Services (EFS) is a local fostering agency aiming to provide foster carers for children who cannot live with their own families, for a whole variety of reasons.
Set up this year by Eleanor Vanner and Tony Jones, both of whom have extensive local experience in foster- ing and social care, EFS is looking for people who can provide safe and nur- turing homes for children of all ages. To become a foster carer, there are many things you don't need, such as to own your own house, or be married and have children of your own but you do need to have patience, resilience and a good sense of humour! You also need to have some experience with children, either from your own family or through your working experience.
Often children just need a short stay with fostering families whilst things
are worked out, and they return to live with their own families, this is always the outcome that we work to if at all possible, but sometimes children need a permanent fostering family who can help them grow up in a lov- ing and secure home.
EFS is looking for people from all backgrounds who can offer a home to children either for a short period or to help them grow up and support them into adulthood. To become a foster carer, a family assessment is involved and we provide initial training to help develop an understanding of what fostering is all about as well as on- going visits when a child actually comes to live with a family. EFS also pays a good financial allowance to people who are looking after children and we can call on a whole network of expert advice when we need it to make sure we offer our carers and children the best possible support.
If you are interested in finding out more about fostering, please give us a call or contact us through our website. We are always more than happy to answer any questions you might have, and help you think about whether fostering is right for you and your family-there is never any obligation to go ahead if you are unsure and we will never pressure you to make a decision that isn't right for you. Do be assured though, if you do become a foster carer, you will find it is an incredible journey-hard work but very worthwhile!
Companies asked for proposals for future of the Spa
Leisure and entertainment companies from across the country are set to be asked for their proposals for the future use of Felixstowe's Spa Theatre after Suffolk Coastal's Cabinet agreed it could no longer afford to give it the necessary long-term financial commit- ment.
On top of the annual subsidy to help keep the theatre open, it is estimated that at least £3 million would need to be spent in the next few years to maintain and repair the building and bring it up to modern standards.
"We are already spending in the region of £250,000 a year for the existing private theatre company to operate the venue on our behalf. At a time when we are having to bridge a £2.8 million budget gap, this spend- ing along with all our other services has had to be put under the micro- scope to decide if it really is good value for money and still a priority during these tough times," said Cllr Geoff Holdcroft, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Leisure.
"The harsh facts are that the Spa is not generating the audiences it used to nor those enjoyed at comparable
venues. It urgently needs a large financial commitment just to get the building up to scratch and to give it a chance to attract the audiences that would make it viable.
"We really cannot afford to make that type of investment, and so we have had little choice but to inform Openwide Coastal that we intend to exercise our option to give notice to end our contract with them. They and any other leisure or entertainment company can come forward with new proposals on what to do with the Spa in the future," added Cllr Holdcroft.
The Cabinet decision is subject to review through the call-in process, but at present the intention is to withdraw funding at the end of June so allow- ing Openwide to run the Spa and its full programme up to the end of June 2012.
Last year the Council agreed to bring in consultants to look at the options for the Spa, taking account of the needs of the local community and the requirement for it to be run in a cost- effective way.
Their report has concluded that if no major investments are made the Spa will quickly become unfit for purpose and that the building is already out of date. Audiences at the Spa have been falling to a degree that each ticket was being subsidised by the Council by well over £7.
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