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Foster Wales Meathu Cymru

Pembrokeshire foster carer ‘brings something to the table’ to support young people in the area

Gofalwr maeth o Sir Benfro yn dod â ‘rhywbeth at y bwrdd’ i gefnogi pobl ifanc yn yr ardal

Mandy hopes sharing their fostering moments will encourage more people to become carers. 

This Foster Care Fortnight™, Foster Wales Pembrokeshire is calling on people in the area to consider becoming foster carers to support local young people in need.

Recent research by Foster Wales – the national network of local authority fostering services – found people are often put off applying to become a carer because they don’t believe they have the ‘right’ skills and experience.

In their new cookbook – Bring something to the table – Foster Wales highlight the simple things, a carer can offer – like the security of a regular meal, family time around the table, and creating new food favourites.

Bring something to the table has over 20 recipes, including recipes from the foster care community, and celebrity chefs.

MasterChef Winner, Wynne Evans; Young MasterChef Judge, Poppy O’Toole; and cook/author Colleen Ramsey have contributed recipes. Also featured are Olympic athlete and foster care campaigner, Fatima Whitbread, who was herself in care.

Former Great British Bake-Off contestant Jon Jenkins and comedian Kiri Pritchard Mclean also added recipes – drawing on their personal experiences as foster carers.

Mandy and her husband Neil have been fostering with Foster Wales Pembrokeshire since 2008. Reflecting on their journey, Mandy shares, “Over the years we’ve had a lot of children who didn’t know when the next meal would come, which led to overeating and often finding hidden food and empty packets behind the TV.”

Despite initial hesitations, she notes, “Many foods seemed alien... But once they tasted these unfamiliar foods, they would enjoy them and want them over and over again.” Mandy emphasises the importance of stability through activities like baking and meal preparation, stating, “We would involve a lot of baking, and get them to help with the preparation of meals which helped a lot with trying new things, and become more comfortable around food.”

Their journey underscores the significance of the simple things a carer can offer, themes celebrated in Foster Wales' new cookbook, 'Bring Something to the Table’.


Care-experienced young people share authentic experiences

To launch the book, Colleen Ramsey, author of ‘Bywyd a Bwyd, Life Through Food’, will host a cookery workshop for young care-experienced people to learn a new recipe and vital cooking skills to take into their future independent lives.

Young care experienced people have also been heavily involved in the development of the cookbook.

Sophia Warner, a Welsh illustrator, campaigner, and care-experienced young person, illustrated and wrote the foreword for the cookbook:

“When I was younger, I vividly recall grilling my foster mum about the origins of the food she presented, insisting it hailed from Brecon, my beloved childhood stomping ground. I penned ‘Brecon Bolognese’ for the cookbook, based on my foster mum’s recipe.

“This recipe holds a special place in my heart because it was the first meal I had when I moved into my foster home. I mentioned that my birth mum used to make it and my foster mum lovingly prepared it for me. As I sat around the table with my new foster family, I felt a sense of belonging and warmth, making me feel truly welcome.”


More foster families are needed across Wales

Every May, Foster Care Fortnight™ - The Fostering Network's annual campaign to raise the profile of fostering and show how foster care transforms lives – hope to raise awareness of the need for more foster carers.

In Wales, there are more than 7,000 children in care, but only 3,800 foster families.

Foster Wales has set out with the bold aim of recruiting over 800 new foster families by 2026, to provide welcoming homes for local children and young people.

Pembrokeshire Head of Children’s Service, Darren Mutter says: “As we celebrate Foster Care Fortnight, we want to thank each and every one of our foster carers for providing safety and stability to children in our care.”

“There are many different ways you can foster, and I urge individuals and families in Pembrokeshire to reach out and explore the different ways in which they can make a difference in a young person's life.”

The cookbook will be distributed to foster carers across Wales and a digital version can be downloaded from:  

To find out more about becoming a foster carer visit or call 01437 774650.

Interviews are available with representatives from Foster Wales and young care experienced people, throughout Foster Care Fortnight.


About Foster Care Fortnight

  • Foster Care Fortnight™ is The Fostering Network's annual campaign to raise the profile of fostering and show how foster care transforms lives.
  • Foster Care Fortnight 2024 will take place from 13-26 May.
  • The theme is #FosteringMoments.


Recipes and contributors

Celebrity recipes

  • Colleen’s ‘everything’ sauce - Colleen Ramsey, presenter, and author of the bilingual family cookbook, Bywyd a Bwyd - Life Through Food
  • Wynne’s family style spaghetti - Wynne Evans, MasterChef Winner
  • Poppy’s sausage and vegetable traybake - Poppy O’Toole, Young MasterChef Judge
  • Jon’s Pasteis de Nata - Jon Jenkins, Great British Bake off star and foster carer, Newport
  • Fatima’s family cottage pie - Fatima Whitebread, MBE, 2x Olympic medallist, world javelin champion, world record holder, and fostering campaigner.
  • Chicken Kabsa - Kiri Pritchard Mclean is a comedian and foster carer in Anglesey. Her stand-up show, Peacock, shares her journey to become a foster carer.

Care leavers

  • Brecon Bolognese - Sophia, illustrator, and care leaver, Cardiff
  • June’s Cheesecake - John, founder of the Care Experience Network, Care Experienced Specialist for the John Lewis Partnership, a care leaver, and Independent local authority foster carer panel member.
  • Ryan’s Fishcakes - Ryan, aspiring chef, and care experienced young person
  • Tuna pasta bake - Sam*, Care leaver, and member of Voices from Care Cymru – a group which brings young people together throughout Wales, who are, or have been looked after. Any young person, who is or has been looked after in Wales, can become a member.
  • Oreo Brownies - Rhys, professional chef, and care leaver

Foster Carers

  • Grandma’s corned beef hash- Ian, foster carer, Conwy
  • Nan’s cheese and bacon pie - Emily, foster carer, Newport
  • Jenny’s Homemade Pizza - Jenny, foster carer, Flintshire
  • Pete’s special pasta - Pete and Vonda, foster Carers, Denbighshire
  • Root Vegetable Crumble - Ian, foster carer, Neath Port-Talbot
  • Hidden veg gravy - Christine and Mike, foster carers, Vale of Glamorgan
  • Vicky’s Yorkshire puddings - Vicky, foster carer, Bridgend
  • West Indian Dumplings - Sue, foster carer, Ceredigion
  • Thai Green Curry - Tracey, foster carer, Neath Port Talbot
  • Chicken Kadhai (Special occasion curry) - Kanu, foster carer, Gwynedd
  • Eid Dinner (Akhni fulab (lamb pilau) Pudding Kheer) - Claire, foster carer, Cardiff