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posted 14 October 2015


(with thanks to Sarah Parfitt)



Two adoptive mothers and successful businesswomen from Berkshire are taking part in a very special run later this month – not to raise money but to find families for children, who are waiting to be fostered or adopted as part of National Adoption Week.

Helen Costa and Clare Brasier, who founded the innovative social enterprise, the Cornerstone Partnership, will be competing in the Capital Runners’ 5km in Richmond Park on Sunday, October 25th along with colleagues, including dedicated social workers and officials from the Department for Education. By donning their running-shoes and setting themselves this challenge, they hope to raise awareness and find permanent homes for children over the age of 4 or with complex needs, so that they can benefit from the stability, love and consistency of a “forever family” instead of an uncertain future in care.

Helen Costa CEO said: “There are currently over 3,000 children waiting for permanent homes in the UK – either via adoption or long term foster care. The amazing outpouring from the general public in response to the refugee crisis in Syria has demonstrated the willingness and generosity of families in the UK who are ready and able to provide the love, support and stability so desperately needed by those children already in the UK care- system, but perhaps until now unnoticed. We want to raise awareness of the needs of these children, who are already here and waiting in the care system – the majority of whom have been waiting for many, many months and in some cases years – in the hope that suitable families can be found.”

Since Cornerstone was set up in January this year, it has helped to prepare and support over 100 families across Berkshire and in West London to adopt. Cornerstone, which is based in Maidenhead, has also now embarked on a concerted campaign to recruit a very special cohort of foster carers who can support older children (aged 5-18) and provide stable home environments for some of the most vulnerable children who enter the care system. One of the organisation’s key advocates and mentors is Sue Clifford who along with her husband Jim (OBE) has adopted 9 older children over the last 25 years.

“Adoption for me is a journey we take our children on to help them reframe their view of the world from one of threat, danger and pain to one where there are endless opportunities,” says Sue. “It can be hard work, but when you have a child who used to get so angry he would hit you, who then hugs you and says ‘Mummy, you smell of love’, you know it has all been worthwhile.”

Cornerstone’s 5km run will form part of a series of event across the country for National Adoption Week, which this year has “Too Young at 4” as a strapline. First4Adoption, the national adoption service, is also publishing a new study which examines people’s attitudes to adoption and reveals some interesting statistics, including the fact that the average age of children waiting to be placed in adoptive families is just 4 years old. To read more go to:
Adopt Berkshire is also running a series of events in National Adoption Week across the county and inviting any potential adopters to come and talk to them(please refer to separate flyer for details).
For more information, interviews or images please contact: Sarah Parfitt on: 07900 4117 15 or email: 


Adopt Berkshire is also running a series of events in National Adoption Week across the county and inviting any potential adopters to come and talk to them.


Tel: 01189 746260

Come and meet us at:

Maidenhead, Nicholson Centre: Mon 19 Oct  9am – 5pm

Newbury, Waitrose (Oxford Road):   Tues 20 Oct  10am – 2pm

Wokingham, ASDA (Lower Earley): Wed 21 Oct 11am – 3pm

Bracknell, Leisure centreTues 20 Oct 11am – 3pm

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