A Christmas party was held for Torbay’s Foster Carers and children at Torquay United Football Club, to help the Foster Carers celebrate Christmas and to say thank you for all their hard work throughout the year.
The event was well attended and as well as Christmas party music and food there was a raffle, and the event was also attended by Torbay Council’s Fostering team, Leader of the Council David Thomas, Deputy Leader Chris Lewis, and Councillor Nick Bye, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services.
In addition to saying thank you to Foster Carers, Torbay Council would also like to express gratitude to all the official Corporate Partners – of which Torquay United Football Club is one – for their ongoing support.
Cllr Nick Bye said: “It was great to see so many of our Foster Carers at this year’s Christmas party and I would once again like to extend a heartfelt thank you to each and everyone one of them for their amazing work. Special thanks go to Torquay United for hosting the Christmas party once again and in particular Jo from Torquay United who provided teas and coffees and mince pies and made everyone feel so welcome.
“I would also like to pass on my thanks to all of our Corporate Partners who provide help, support and also fun activities for our Foster families throughout the year.”
This year, as well as Torquay United providing use of their function room for a number of Fostering events and season tickets for Foster Carers, Special Guardians and their families, other support has included the annual Train of Lights event with thanks to Dartmouth Steam Railway and Riverboat Company, tickets for Foster Carers with Paignton Zoo, Princess & Babbacombe Theatres and many more.
Jo Harris from Torquay United said: “Torbay’s Fosters Carers and Fostering partners do an amazing job throughout the year, and therefore we were delighted to host their party here at Torquay United.
“Over the past few years, we’ve built up a tremendous partnership with Torbay Council’s Fostering team, and we look forward to that continuing in 2024.”
Local Foster Carers also enjoyed the Christmas party – here’s a few of their comments after the event:
“Please pass on thanks from Lesley and myself for the lovely event this morning.
“It was great to catch up with so many other foster carers, and so many of the Children’s Services team.
“We hope that you you will all have a wonderful Christmas.”
“Was fab! Loved the games and prizes”
“It was a lovely morning and nice to see so many carers and social workers.”
“Just wanted to say several carers have commented how well this morning went and how enjoyable it was. Thanks to you and the team for all your hard work. Please would you pass this on to them.”
“What a lovely morning we had. Lots of fun and laughter. So good to meet up with other foster carers in a non training environment. Always good to share a natter and chat with our fellow foster community. Thank you to the staff for organising.”
Highlights of 2023
It’s been a busy year for the Fostering team attending 35 events across the Bay – from large events such as Armed Forces Day, Torbay Jobs Fair and Torbay Pride, to smaller regular drop in sessions in a range of venues from libraries and town centres to Christmas Markets and many more. During Foster Care Fortnight in May a number of local partners helped promote Fostering, and in October the Children in Care Awards event was held with guest speaker Ashley John-Baptiste, a presenter who himself grew up in Foster Care.
The official Corporate Fostering Partners for Torbay are:
- Buckfast Butterfly & Otter Sanctuary
- China Blue
- Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company.
- Mellors Group – Big Wheel
- Paignton Zoo / Wild Planet Trust
- Pirate Pitch n Putt
- Splashdown in Paignton
- Swim Torquay
- Torquay United
- Torre Abbey
Local charity partners supporting Fostering in Torbay are:
- Comfort Cases
- Linus Quilts
- Sutton Seeds
- Ted Lights
Any other local organisations who want to be our Corporate Fostering Partners can contact Annette Solomon on 01803 207845 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition, in May 2023, Torbay Council achieved Fostering Friendly Employer accreditation with national charity The Fostering Network. Fostering Friendly status means staff who are either Foster Carers already or going through the assessment process are entitled to a range of benefits from a minimum of five days extra leave for those with fostering commitments to more flexible working. In 2024 the Council will be working with other employers in the Bay to assist them with achieving Fostering Friendly accreditation.
Could you be a Foster Carer?
There is always a need for more Foster Carers in Torbay and in particular, short break and stay over Foster Carers. If you are thinking of becoming a Foster Carer or want to find out more about Fostering in Torbay, call the team on 01803 207845 or visit www.torbay.gov.uk/fostering
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