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5-4-3-2-1 Foster Carers Are “Go”

I was one of the many, who wrongly believe that Foster Carers are far too busy to have time for hobbies.So when I heard that Tony Adams, one of the North Wales carers, had built a Thunderbird Replica Car and was going to drive it to Benidorm I just had to know more!

Tony explained that participation in the car rally came about on the back of a Facebook “shout” from a friend two years ago.On investigation, Tony established that the event was not a race but more like a treasure hunt – fun challenges along the way with clues and riddles to solve.Prizes are awarded for the best dressed car, best outfit, team who demonstrates the best spirit of the event and the team that collects most points for the tasks along route.After discussion with the family, Tony thought, well why not I may as well have a go and rise to the challenge.

As Tony is an avid model maker and has an adapted garage/craft room for that purpose, he was the ideal team member to produce something on a much bigger scale.The first entry last year, was a car converted into a tank but this year, they wanted something fun and brighter to catch the eyes of the judges.

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The actual transformation of a Vauxhall Zafira into the Thunderbird replica has taken “Forever” but in reality, approximately 52 hours.The family has had to be very patient watching the vehicle evolve but it was explained that Tony was conscious that the build should not eat into valuable family time.Diane, Tony’s wife explained “As a foster family you have to work as part of a team but it is so important that you also have time to yourself”. Due to the nature of the work, the children in the family have watched out of the window at all the activity on the drive-way but they are going to sign their names on the door panel inside as a good luck gesture.

The chosen charity that Tony’s team are raising money for is The Alzheimer’s Society.Although Tony has had family members affected by the condition, the person who donated the Zafira to the team had lost his Mum to the disease, so it seemed very appropriate.

Tony’s enthusiasm for his vehicle and the rally is evident so I asked Diane if she feels like she is missing something by not going on the trip “Trapped in a car with four sweaty men is not my style but we are flying out to Benidorm to see Tony cross the finish line and celebrate Father’s Day with him”.Equally, the car is currently in test mode so Diane has been to school, theatre group and they are even driving to a Local Authority Review meeting in it next week!Dianne added “We really feel, when we are in the Thunderbird Car, how many people can we make smile today and for that I am really proud of what Tony has done”.

Before I left Tony and Diane I had one burning question “What would you say to people who think that Fostering is a full time job and you don’t have time for hobbies and interest?”Diane replied “Your life hasn’t gone when you foster, it is enhanced – you find ways to adapt and it works”.

As I stepped out onto the drive, there was the yellow fun machine, complete with P.A system blasting out the Thunderbirds theme tune and bubbles pumping out of the back and do you know?Yes, I had the biggest smile on my face!!!