AN Essex couple hopes to inspire others through their story of fostering children.

Bradleigh and Ricardo, from Stanford-Le-Hope, have been fostering children for two years.

Bradleigh said: "After chatting about how we would start our family, we went along to a fostering information event.

"We spoke to many wonderful foster carers there, something just felt right, and we signed up on the day to start our fostering journey.

Bradleigh and Ricardo have two foster children aged nine and four.

"Fostering has changed our lives to the degree where we can't see our lives without it.

"It's so natural, like waking up in the morning.

"I don't know where we would be without fostering; without these children, we love it so much."

Essex County Council's foster carers have access to support, training and an active network of other foster carers to learn from and connect with.

Foster carers receive a weekly fee plus expenses to support the cost of raising a child.

He continued: "Fostering is open for everyone, anyone over 21, any gender, any sexual orientation, don't let anything stop you.

"Just get in touch, and you could help children in Essex who really need it."

Find out more about fostering by visiting