One key corner of fostering is respite care. It's a good route in for people starting in fostering because you only have the young person for a short period while the real carers have a break. Helps you start to get used to having a looked- after young person in the house.
When we had a downstairs bedroom we were on the Blue Sky list to look after a young person with a disability, if it came up.
It never happened, and the downstairs bedroom is now a dining room, so it's unlikely. Sometimes I wondered how I'd be with someone young who used a wheelchair, or someone who needed help dressing or maybe even help when eating.
I wondered if I'd find it difficult or harrowing. I like to think I'd have been okay.
Something happened to me an hour ago which made me wish I could still do it. It was so amazing I want to tell somebody, and, as the house is empty at the moment, it's going to be you reading this blog, thanks for that by the way.
I went down the high street for the opening of a new charity shop, I know a lady who does voluntary work there. It's a good charity, which encourages disabled people to help there, arranging shelves, serving at the till and what have you.
I started chatting to a young man who was seated waiting for the ribbon to be cut. I say young man he was probably a teenager. He had a pair of metal crutches (awful word, are they still called that?) under his chair. He spoke with some difficulty, but all I had to do was wait while he got his sentences out.
He told me he worked for another of the charity's other shops in a nearby town.
He told me he enjoyed sorting the new stuff that came in from donors.
I asked him if he was allowed to buy anything he saw that he liked the look of.
"Well" he replied "I suppose so. But. The thing is."
There was a pause. Then he said something I will remember all my life.
"I've got everything I need."