Creative foster kids design council Christmas cards

It's a winner: Card by Harvey, seven, will be used as one of Lancashire County Council's official Christmas cards this year.(2016)

It's a winner: Card by Harvey, seven, will be used as one of Lancashire County Council's official Christmas cards this year.(2016)

Looked after children have designed the official County Hall Christmas cards.

Youngsters were encouraged to enter the competition by their foster carers and had to draw a picture on a winter or Christmas theme.

Winning card design by Gavanna,nine.

Winning card design by Gavanna,nine.

The cards were judged by council Chief Executive Jo Turton and its leader County Coun. Jennifer Mein. They are sending them out as the council’s official corporate Christmas card. Staff at the council will be able to use the designs as an e card too.

Harvey, aged seven, was the winner of the three -seven years category. He has and suffered maltreatment and neglect when living with his birth family. Before he was fostered Christmas was non existent for Harvey, who has hyperactivity and attention deficit difficulties. The council said he did not understand how to play or what it was like to feel safe, but as his card shows following fostering he now has a clear picture of what Christmas in a happy family is like.

Gavanna aged nine, won the eight-11 years section and said: “I have drawn a picture of a girl in the north pole having fun. I thought it will be exciting.”

Kristyna, aged 14, won the 12 years plus category. She lives with her step sister and came to her current foster family in March 2016.

It's a winner: Card by Kristyna,14, is  one of Lancashire County Council's official Christmas cards this year.(2016)

It's a winner: Card by Kristyna,14, is one of Lancashire County Council's official Christmas cards this year.(2016)

The three winners will receive a pack of their own cards to use as well as a small gift.

Coun Mein said: “It was a tough task selecting the winners from the many brilliant entries and I was truly inspired to see how many talented artists we have in our midst. I am proud to be sending out these cards in my capacity as leader of the council.”

• Each week the council seeks to find loving homes for 20 children and Coun Mein said: “The quality of the children’s designs is testament to their character and resilience and to the love and support they receive from our excellent foster carers across the county.”

She added: “We particularly need more foster carers to look after teenagers and groups of siblings and give them a loving home whilst they can’t live with their families. If you have a spare room and are interested in fostering, please get in touch to find out about financial support and training for our foster carers.”

The council is increasing the allowances payable to new foster carers by at least £115 per week in recognition of their valuable role. New foster carers can expect to receive between £241 and £415 for each child they care for. Anyone interested in finding out more about fostering should call 0300 123 6723 or see www.lancashire.gov.uk/fostering