Belfast Telegraph

Stars' photos aid foster campaign

Stars of stage and screen have released "unseen" pictures of themselves as teenagers and shared pearls of wisdom passed down to them by their families as part of a campaign to recruit more foster carers in the UK.

Dame Joan Collins, actor Andy Serkis and the late Lynda Bellingham are among the stars who have revealed photographs of their adolescent days, braving the days of acne and proudly showing off the dodgy haircuts of their formative years.

The celebrities have also shared pearls of wisdom passed down through their families in support of Barnardo's Fostering Week 2015, which begins today.

Actress Brenda Blethyn, the star of TV drama Vera and the film Atonement, reveals herself dressed in a ball gown, while a picture of Lord Of The Rings actor Andy Serkis reveals rather bushy hair.

I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here winner Christopher Biggins released a picture of him dressed in hippy garb and TV presenter Tim Lovejoy is shown sporting a rather fetching blonde mullet.

Lynda, who died in October, is revealed playing Puck in a teenage production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Along with a photo of his wife, Lynda's widower Michael Pattermore revealed that her motto was always "live life to the full", which he says is the best advice any young person can be given.

Other celebrities taking part include D ame Joan Collins, actress and author Fay Ripley, former sprinter Jamie Baulch, actor Jason Flemyng, TV presenter Carol Smillie and reality TV star Charlotte Crosby.

Barnardo's hopes to recruit 500 foster carers this year to help address what it says is an annual shortfall of 8,600 carers.

Brenda, a long-term supporter of Barnardo's, said: "The work foster carers do is invaluable as they offer vulnerable children and young people a stable, safe and caring home, sometimes for the first time in their lives.

"Although it is a demanding role, it is very rewarding and we desperately need more potential foster carers to come forward for children waiting for a family."

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