About Us

Foster Carers and Staff at Next Stage Awards


About Next Stage for Fostering

Next Stage for Fostering (Ltd) was established in November 2015 as an Independent Fostering Agency. Located in Bolton we cover the North West of the UK.

Next Stage for Fostering is a private limited company and is registered under the Companies Act 1985 (Company Registration Number 9860746). Next Stage for Fostering is registered with Ofsted, registration number URN1241412. In September 2017 the agency received a “Good” rating from Ofsted.

Please click on the below images to view our Statement of Purpose, Foster Carers’ Charter & Ofsted inspection.


Next Stage for Fostering is part of the established Next Stage Group which was founded in 2001 and has an excellent track record in providing support and care to vulnerable children, young people and adults. The Next Stage group has a vast array of knowledge, experience and expertise which can be shared across the group ensuring the highest quality of service is provided.

The Next Stage group has 3 further care provision services:

Next Stage 4life

Next Stage 4life provides children’s homes for children/young people aged 8 to 17, with complex needs.

Next Stage Youth Development

Next Stage Youth Development provides accommodation to young people aged 16 plus who are vulnerable and have complex needs. 

Next Stage ‘A Way Forward’

Next Stage ‘A Way Forward’ provides Community and Residential support to vulnerable adults.

For more information on the wider group please click on the link www.next-stageltd.org.uk

Meet the Fostering Team

Hover over the images below to find out more about our Fostering Team. See who has found over 2000 Geocaches and who has appeared in a Marvel film.


Paul is the founder of the Next Stage Group which he started in 2002. Outside of work Paul is a dad to four children which keeps him busy! He enjoys outdoor pursuits, particulary mountaineering and sailing. Paul is a plane geek and enjoys all aspects of travel.

Paul O'Rouke

Managing Director

Jeremy is a Registered Social Worker and has a vast amount of experience working within the Social Care and Education sector. Jeremy is a father of 3 and has a keen interest in restoring classic vehicles.

Jeremy Alston

Responsible Individual

Lynda is a Social Worker and has over 30 years of experience working with children and families. Outside of work Lynda is a mum to a teenage girl and enjoys keeping fit which includes running, cycling and playing rounders for a local ladies team.

Lynda Hardman

Registered Manager

Ruth Elsden

Fostering Manager

Ruth qualified as a Social Worker in 2003 with experience working in local government with her most recent role as Fostering Team Leader. Ruth is a mother of two children and enjoys going gym in her spare time.

Ruth Heyes

Supervising Social Worker

Angela O'Connor

Supervising Social Worker

Paula has over ten years’ experience of working in Independent Fostering Agencies and excellent knowledge and awareness of Fostering Regulations and Legislation. Paula is a mother of one son and in her spare time Paula enjoys Geocaching.

Paula Carroll

Business Manager

Alex has over six years’ experience of working in Social Care. Alex likes to spend as much free time outdoors and you will find him up a mountain at weekends.

Alex Handley


Sandra was a Foster Carer before becoming a Special Guardian for 3 siblings in order to offer them permenance within her family. Sandra is also a mum to twin boys. In her spare time she enjoys cycling. Sandra has also appeared as an extra in a Marvel film.

Sandra Aspinall

Family Support Worker

Laura also works for our Youth Team and was proud to be awarded ‘Youth Staff Member of the year 2017′. Her role with NSFF involves supporting foster carers, children and young people. Laura enjoys shopping and travelling. 

Laura Bracegirdle

Family Support Worker

Team Achievements

Mountains Climbed
Rounders Seasons Played
Geocaches Found

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

We support the charities below and are always interested to hear from charities who are sustainable and promote healthy living.


Next Stage regually volunteer at food banks for local homeless people. We also support with clothing donations for the winter months.



We have a close relationship with the Prince’s Trust and we encourage our young people to take part in various activities and courses run by the event.


Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

As an Agency we will continue to follow and promote the current Government legislation and guidance.

Covid-19 remains a serious health risk.  Therefore the Agency’s advice continues to be everyone should stay cautious to help protect themselves and others.

In order to offer the best protection to our Foster Carers, children/young people, staff etc and to meet the requirements of the business and current legislations, regulations and guidance we will continue to adapt our service delivery to ensure a high level of supervision and support is offered.   This will be achieved by using a variety of flexible resources, for example, face to face visits and meetings, virtual meetings, outside visits and meetings, etc.

Related Pages

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