Dr Who Actress Becomes A Foster Mother

Swansea actress Helen Griffin, whose character was recently killed off by the evil Cybermen in an episode of Doctor Who, has got a new role as a foster carer. And today at Swansea’s St Helen’s Primary School she will launch a campaign aimed at raising awareness of the need for more foster parents.

She will join children at the school, in Swansea’s Sandfields, in “planting a seed for fostering”. They will be planting sunflower seeds to symbolise the need for children to be nurtured and helped to grow at what is the start of Foster Fortnight, a UK- wide programme highlighting fostering.

In Swansea alone there are currently 150 foster families looking after 350 children in care. Helen Griffin, who wrote and starred in the highly acclaimed 2005 film Little White Lies, appeared in the Doctor Who episodes Rise of the Cybermen and The Age of Steel in which her character was killed off by the robots.

Active in anti-war, anti-racism and feminist causes she identified herself as a spokeswoman for Swansea Coalition Against the (Iraq) War and in 2006 she was arrested for daubing red paint on the National Museum of Wales as part of a protest against Israel’s actions in Lebanon.

She was held for 10 hours and released with a caution. She originally trained as a psychiatric nurse, developing a friendship with comic Jo Brand who trained with her, and became an actress in 1986. Because of the nature of her job the actress will be offering short breaks to children from a variety of backgrounds.

A spokeswoman for Foster Swansea said they were delighted Helen Griffin had decided to become a foster carer and had agreed to launch Foster Fortnight 2007.

The use of an actress to highlight Foster Fortnight is part of a wider campaign to emphasise that people from all walks of life can foster. Last year, bearded biker David Quick, from Pontypridd, spearheaded a recruitment campaign by the Taith Newydd Community Fostering Project. Mr Quick, 36, a former florist and his wife Tracey became carers in 2005.