A couple from Hyde have been giving local young people a great start in life since becoming foster parents.
Cathy and Marc Ryan, 48 and 47, have been fostering since 2012, starting with a sibling group of a 14-year-old girl and her two brothers aged 13 and 12. One of this group has lived with them since then.
The couple had thought about adoption but wanted to support more children and felt fostering would allow them to do that. They are supporting the Tameside Council-backed Foster Care Fortnight national campaign which runs from 13-26 May.
Cathy left her role in the NHS after 20 years of service to foster full time. This was a major decision but she hasn't looked back.
They have found fostering teenagers has fitted really well into their lives as they can include the young people in their hobbies like horses and video games.
The couple have three ponies, two dogs, one cat and seven hens and the children all enjoy looking after the animals. All children in their care have the opportunity to learn to ride with some joining Ponyclub and one girl even training at the Northern Racing College.
They are currently looking after a group of three sisters aged 16, 13 and 7 and the youngest can often be found outside reading the hens a story.
Cathy said: "We always knew we wanted to foster sibling groups as neither of us could bear the thought of being split up from our own siblings. One of the best feelings is supporting the children to cope with everyday pressures and to develop healthy relationships and support them in what they want to do."
Cllr Oliver Ryan, Tameside Council Executive Member for Children's Services, said: "Our fantastic fostering team plays a vital role in providing stable and caring foster homes for our young people.
"If you're able to provide a child or young person with a stable and loving home we want to hear from you. We're always looking for inspiring people like Cathy and Marc who help to keep families together by fostering groups of siblings."
Tameside Council foster carers receive full training, support and an allowance. There are lots of different flexible opportunities for foster carers - from long-term placements to emergency and respite care – which can fit around other work and commitments.
For more information please call 0161 368 8865 or visit https://www.tameside.gov.uk/fostering.