A CHARITY which finds foster homes for vulnerable children has opened its first office in the south of England in Basingstoke.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Mayor Councillor Martin Biermann officially opened the Children’s Family Trust (CFT) office at Worting House, Church Lane, last Tuesday.

Jon Dudley, development manager for the trust, said: “It is a very exciting time for us.

“We have been very active in the north-east and in the midlands, and there is a high level of need down here in the south central region.

“We would like to recruit about 20 to 25 carers in this area, but we are looking for special people who have got particular skills.”

Karen Blackman, supervising social worker for the trust in the south central region, said: “Foster care can make a real difference to troubled young people and give them a sound pathway to adulthood.

“There are hundreds of children in the area already benefiting from the loving care that a good foster home can offer.”

Cllr Biermann cut the ribbon at the grand opening, attended by the chief executive of CFT Tom Gormley and many of the charity’s trustees.

The trust aims to provide a ‘family for life’ for children and young people, and also works to make sure that siblings can stay together in a foster family.

Mr Dudley said: “As a charity, we don’t have to make a profit, and any money we make can be put back into benefiting the children.”

The trust will soon be holding a series of informal open evenings and open days for people who might be interested to go along and find out what fostering entails.

To find out more about fostering and the open days, call 01256 345635 or visit thecft.org.uk.