Bristol’s foster families unite to stage first play: Fostering panto Andrea 2

11 Feb 2020

Children and Young People

Bristol’s foster families unite to stage first play

Carers and children from Bristol’s fostering families took to the boards at Bristol Grammar School’s theatre to stage their first pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk.

The play was written and directed by a Bristol City Council foster carer, George Pennington-Field, and was organised by the Avon Foster Carers Association (AFCA), a group of foster carers who work to support and champion fostering and foster children.

Two performances took place - a matinee and an evening show which was followed by an Oscars-style presentation hosted by Mayor Marvin Rees and Councillor Helen Godwin, Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Women, in recognition of the families’ hard work. Local celebrities, including Bristol actor Joe Sims, city partners and councillors were joined by Bristol City Football Club mentors and trainers who all showed their support and encouragement.

Speaking after the final bows were taken, George said: “Our re-telling of the classic story of Jack and the Beanstalk has brought the foster care community in Bristol together. It has been a fun way for young people and their carers to meet new friends and build confidence. Following the auditions in October everyone has been working really hard to make this a success and hopefully we will be able to do it again next year.”

Councillor Godwin, Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Women, said: “Taking part in a play was a new experience for many of our young people and foster carers, and what a fantastic job they did. As corporate parents we are always focused on supporting, protecting and encouraging those in our care - and staging this play was a novel way to gain new skills and connections and build self-belief, as well as having a lot of fun. It fits in perfectly with our EPIC (exceptional people in care) agenda.”