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“We’ve giving children something to look forward to”

Foster parents Abi and her husband Adrian share how they’ve been able to give children a reason to step away from their phones and gaming stations, by setting up a unique sports club.

April 8 2020 - 6 min read

Foster parents Abi and her husband Adrian share how they’ve been able to give children a reason to step away from their phones and gaming stations, by setting up a unique sports club.

Abi and Adrian were out with their two daughters one Saturday afternoon enjoying some quality family time, when they realised that there are children less fortunate than their own that would benefit from feeling part of a family, particularly as they’ve seen the benefits that fostering has brought to Abi’s aunties foster children.

Fast forward five years, the couple from Hastings have fostered three children as well as offering a number of children and families with respite care. Talking about their decision to foster, Abi said: “We decided we didn’t want any more children of our own because the girls have got a really good bond, so we just thought we’ve got a spare room, it would be nice to foster and give children a life they deserve.”

Now caring for two brothers, their family of four quickly turned into a family of six. Abi and Adrian care for Daylan*, 15, and Damian*, 17. Daylan has been with the family for three years and has been an inspiration in the couple’s latest business venture.

Daylan enjoyed a range of sports including football and golf, but showed a keen interest in darts due to Adrian’s sporting background.

“Seeing the difference in Daylan when he played darts was incredible. He started to interact with Adrian and I more and has become an all-round more confident young boy.”

Adrian, who is a former Soft Darts Player Champion and plays professionally across the world, found a love for soft tip electronic darts a couple of years ago. He noticed that the Dart Live machines were not only beneficial for darts players, but young people too. He saw the connection children made particularly when they were playing team games and thought he should trial it.

The couple introduced the machines to their own children and found that darts really helped to bring them together and decided they wanted to help other children in care. As a result, the couple decided to set up their own darts academy, which has recently been launched.

“We’ve set up the academy with the aim of helping to build social and communication skills, support the learning of a new skill, help create new friendships and to give children somewhere to feel safe.”

“We saw a huge improvement in both our foster children’s and birth children’s behaviour when they started using the machines. They were team building, socialising, having fun and most importantly leaving their bedrooms which has always been a big challenge."

Adrian, who is the force behind the new iDarts Academy is delighted to have helped children develop in social situations. “Children have now got something to look forward to instead of coming home and playing on their computer or staying in their room. They’ve now got a club to come to.”

“They’ve got a real focus and something to talk about. They’re able to communicate and interact with other people which helps to build new friendships.”

Abi and Adrian didn’t anticipate that five years ago they’d have four children and now a business which is helping to improve the lives of young people. Abi added: “Fostering is the best decision we have ever made. It’s transformed our life and most importantly our home life.

“We have had a huge amount of support from ISP Sussex throughout our fostering experience with them, from training and support to regular visits.  They are always there when we need them and have been invaluable in helping us set up the darts academy.”

If you’d like to learn more about how to become a foster parent or long term fostering, then please get in touch with our friendly team on 0800 0857 989 - we’d love to hear from you.

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