Grantham fosters carers will feature on Alan Titchmarsh's Love Your Garden tonight
A couple in their 70s who have been fostering for more than 40 years have had their garden made over by Alan Titchmarsh and his Love Your Garden team.
Rob and Margaret Isdale, from Grantham, will feature in episode two of the series on ITV tonight (Tuesday).
When Rob joked about needing Alan Titchmarsh to come and sort out the garden, little did he know that a few months later the Love Your Garden crew would be doing just that having been secretly nominated for a garden make-over by their daughter.
Rob and Margaret, who are both in their mid-70s, have been fostering for 41 years and have looked after over 150 children during this time.
“I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t foster, it’s just been part of our lives for so long,” said Margaret.
That’s very clear in the garden which has been created for them with some of the names of the children they have looked after over the years being included as a feature, as well as a memorial to their daughter Kim, whom they adopted but sadly died.
Rob and Margaret fostered Kim, who had disabilities, at six weeks old and then adopted her aged three.
“She came to us with a prognosis of six to nine months’ life and she died when she was 21,” said Rob. “Kim was something special.”
Rob believes the biggest reward of fostering is the satisfaction of seeing the children either go back to their families or be successfully adopted.
“It’s not always sad, saying goodbye, it depends where they’re going to because if you’ve done your job, and if the family has sorted themselves out and children are going back to their mum and dad, then that’s very satisfying.”
Many children and families who Rob and Margaret have worked with over the years have stayed in touch with the couple too, which is a testament to the amazing work they do.
Rob and Margaret believe that fostering has changed their lives for the better and their advice for anyone thinking about fostering is to go for it.
“You’ve nothing to lose and if you don’t go for it you’ll never know” said Rob. “And you’re never too old…it keeps us young!”
Anyone interested in fostering can attend one of Lincolnshire Fostering Service’s information evenings in September. For more information visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/fosterevening or call 01522 554114.
Rob and Margaret’s episode of Love Your Garden can be seen on ITV tonight at 8pm.