EX-CORONATION Street and EastEnders actress Michelle Collins is lending her support to the launch of this year’s Foster Care Fortnight in Essex.

The star, along with Essex County Council foster carers and members of the fostering service will be taking on a punishing assault course on the first day of the fortnight on Monday to help raise awareness for more fosterers to come forward.

Over 30 participants will take on a six kilometer country race in Kelvedon Hatch on muddy farmland, heavily loaded with man-made and natural obstacles.

The soap star will then present medals to the top thee finishers.

She said: “Every child deserves to have a loving home and that is why I am proud to support Essex County Council’s Foster Care Fortnight“ Essex County Council needs more people to foster, with a particular need for more carers to come forward to care for children with disabilities, teenagers and sibling groups of three or more.

Chairman of Essex County Council, Councillor Kay Twitchen said: “This will be a really tough challenge for our foster carers and staff and it helps us all to remember the tough challenges that our children in care face on a daily basis. We hope that this event helps to raise the profile of fostering in a fun way.”

To find out more about fostering in Essex visit www.essex.gov.uk/fostering or call 0800 801 530