Johanna Surgeoner has been selflessly devoting her time, love and home to fostering children for seven years. Prior to fostering children, Johanna lived and ran her own business in Spain with her husband and children. Following the sad passing of both her mother and husband, Johanna moved back to the UK where she began working in another nursery.

With three children of her own, Johanna applied to foster children and was passed through the panel, only to receive a telephone call to say her first two foster children were arriving later that day, a call that was received ahead of her approval notification.

Johanna has fostered over 20 children, alongside providing respite for other foster carers, which proves to be challenging and trying at times, but extremely rewarding. She strives to create a loving environment and creates an extensive storybook for each of the children to keep and take with them, once they are adopted. The book includes childhood photos and memories that they can keep with them forever.

In July 2017, Johanna realised that her garden could be utilised further to support the development of her foster children and offer an outside space for them to enjoy. The garden, however, was not in a condition that could be used by the children, with a steep slope and a huge cherry tree, the outside area offered nowhere for them to play.

Following contact with The Matt Haycox Foundation, Johanna and Matt discussed how the project could benefit the children and planned how to overhaul the current garden. With the whole project taking around a week to complete, the landscapers quickly levelled out the slope and transformed the small garden into a habitable area.

Johanna has expressed her gratitude to The Matt Haycox Foundation for ensuring that the project was completed to the highest quality and has allowed her to further support her ongoing fostering. Fostering is no easy job and can include developing children who have experienced neglect and a poor start to life. Johanna has selflessly devoted her time and love to raising over 20 children, and now with the addition of this garden renovation, they can safely play and learn outside.

“I have known Johanna for around 18 months and have had the chance to meet a number of the children that she cares for and supports. I’ve witnessed the sheer amount of work that she undertakes first hand and felt the need to support her further. With the support from the government for foster carers proving insufficient to cover the essentials required, let alone an addition such as a useable garden, I was delighted at the opportunity to help Johanna. Through the foundation, we were able to support her and transform the garden into space for her to continue her wonderful work and for the children to enjoy.” – Matt Haycox

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