Suzanne* from Boldon is a foster carer and has cared for Peter* since he was 18 months old. A colleague from The PLACE (Project for Looked After Children's Education) tells their story:
"Peter has experienced severe neglect and trauma from birth until he went to live with Suzanne. Although he is now nine years old, he is still greatly affected by the impact of his early childhood and can be extremely challenging. Despite difficult circumstances Suzanne has given him a childhood that has joy, adventure, safety and nurture in abundance - even when things get tough.
By offering unstinting love, patience and care, Suzanne has enabled Peter to develop confidence and resilience that allows him to negotiate and problem solve the many barriers that he faces. She cycles with him every day to and from school, bakes homemade fudge and biscuits to avoid reactions from his nut allergy and takes him on outdoor activity holidays and to theme parks. Suzanne has joined support groups and bought books on how to be a therapeutic parent and works tirelessly to ensure he gets the right support from the professionals who are involved in Peter's life. She lies with him every night until he feels safe enough to fall asleep.
Words don't do justice to how much this carer has given this a child. As well as the best start in life, she has saved his life by giving him everything he needs to access to a bright future.
*Names changed for confidentiality purposes.
What does the best start in life mean to you?
We are dedicated to giving children and young people in South Tyneside the best start in life and would like you to be part of this.