Foster carer Karen Underwood is to trek along the Great Wall of China to raise money for a charity that supports foster families.

Mrs Underwood, 41, of West View Crescent, Devizes, and her husband Simon, 53, have been foster carers for Wiltshire Council for four years.

The couple now look after three teenage children and want to raise funds for The Fostering Network. Mrs Underwood, who hopes to raise £2,000 for the charity, said: "I want to raise awareness of fostering and raise money for The Fostering Network to support other foster carers.

"Support is essential for a foster carer and as well as having family, friends and the local authority to turn to. The Fostering Network is also there to help and advise through all aspects of fostering.

"It is a much needed resource which really needs donations and financial help.

"I am funding the full cost of the trip myself so all donations made will go straight to the charity."

She said that she loves looking after the two boys and a girl in her care but it can be difficult at times. She said: "We have found it to be ultimately rewarding, although challenging."

Mrs Underwood said they decided to foster as they felt they had the time and energy to devote to children.

She said: "My husband's children were grown up and I didn't have any birth children. It seemed like the right time to do something like this."

Mrs Underwood, who works part time as a massage and beauty therapist at The Tranquil Moment salon in Poulshot, is holding a fundraising day on May 30. Some of the funds raised will go to The Fostering Network and some to the charity Freeset, which offers employment to women in India to get them out of the sex trade.

Salon owner Jo Murphy wants to support the charity after visiting India and hearing about the plight of these women.

They will be doing reduced rate taster massage and beauty treatments and organising a raffle.

Mrs Underwood's trek is in October and she is gradually building up her stamina by doing long walks in the Wiltshire countryside.

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