Give them a fresh start

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IN Sheffield alone, 120 children are crying out for a forever home.

Through no fault of their own, they are living out their lives in care, all the while hoping new parents will come to give them love - and a new start in life.

Their plight is made even worse by the fact that many of them have brothers and sisters they rarely see. Their family has been scattered across different foster families.

Nationwide, there is a dire shortage of people willing to adopt. And of the selfless and caring few who do want to, many are nervous about taking on too much responsibility. They imagine it will be easier to adopt a baby, rather than an older child, or a disabled child, or, worst of all, a complete, ready-made family all in one go.

Consequently, these are the children who must wait and wait.

In Sheffield the story is no different. And as National Adoption Week draws to a close, search your hearts and ask yourself; do I have the courage?

Could I create a happy home for children who have been taken from theirs, and everything and everyone they know?

Do I have the love to give?

All those who have adopted will tell you; you will be rewarded immeasurably by watching your instant family blossom and grow – and by the love they give you in return.

Chaucer tells a good news story

TIMES are changing at Sheffield’s Chaucer School, which earlier this year teamed up with one of the city’s leading secondaries, Tapton, to create a partnership aiming to deliver ‘world class education’.

But that can’t happen if pupils aren’t in class to start with.

Hence a drive this term to boost attendance levels above 95 per cent, part of wider efforts to boost attainment generally and GCSE results in particular.

But there’s another battle to be won too - to raise the school’s reputation among local people, to tell both parents and residents all about the good work that is now under way.

A giant banner outside school praising improved attendances is just one way to get this important message across, the striking design a result of an inter-class competition. It may seem a modest start, but the principle is important.

Successful schools are not just about hard work by students and staff – they need the support and enthusiasm of the wider community too if they are to move up to the next level.

Chaucer is now beginning that important journey.