In this blog Phil Jacob, The Fostering Network's fundraising and development manager, takes us through some of the great lengths our supporters have gone to in the name of raising money.
Every day at The Fostering Network we hear stories of how foster care transforms lives, from children who have found happiness and confidence in their foster families, to foster carers and their sons and daughters whose lives are enriched by new experiences and new relationships.
If I look back at some of the things our extraordinary supporters have made possible over the last few months, it’s obvious that everyone can join this cause, make something positive happen and, at the very least, come away with unique memories and new friends.
Witness these unusual scenes:
At the foot of a mountain in the early morning light, with only a small group of sheep looking on, a group of hikers prepare their day’s kit: water, snacks, a luxurious new mattress and a bed frame.
Two men carry a large display case through the corridors of a prestigious London hotel, passing an enormous tray of samosas. Inside the case is one of Muhammad Ali’s boxing gloves.
Elsewhere, a boy picks out some clothes to wear for the day. Each item is bright orange and he sets the outfit off with an orange wig.
A professional film crew train their cameras across a family’s kitchen floor, waiting for two small dogs to scamper into shot.
A team of bright young minds from a major bank meet to discuss important business. Item one: the disco playlist.
These, of course, were all preparations for some of the fantastic events made possible by our supporters across the UK.
The mountainside mattress was delivered to the summit of Snowdon by an intrepid team from Dreams, who carried and assembled an entire bed 3,000 feet above sea level, raising well over £6,000. This was just one of the amazing things that our friends at Dreams have been doing to support our work this year and they have lots more planned.
Muhammad Ali’s boxing glove was auctioned at a gala dinner - organised by the Better Communities Business Network and addressed by Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. Hundreds of volunteers and guests, many from Muslim communities, came together to raise over £130,000 in support of our Muslim Fostering Project.
The two small dogs belong to foster carers, Darren and Karen, who invited a film crew into their home. The powerful film, produced for free by our friends at CTN Communications, will inspire others to think about fostering.
The orange wig was worn with pride at Foster Walk London yesterday, where fostering families, fostering services, friends and supporters got together for a great day out along London’s Southbank. This year, we finished with a great celebration put together by a fantastic team from Barclays. As well as the all-important disco, Barclays are laying on a fantastic spread of food, balloons, fun and games.
If you haven’t already, why not join the fun this Foster Care Fortnight? Have a look at our fundraising page for a list of events and ideas.
Another cause for celebration
This Foster Care Fortnight sees the launch of the next phase of our Mockingbird programme. A £3.76m grant from the Department for Education means we can roll out this innovative model of foster care at 12 partner sites across England over the next three years. Mockingbird brings local foster families together in an extended family model, which has already seen huge benefits for children and their foster carers.
The strength of an extended family comes from people sharing their experiences and support for the benefit of children. The feedback from participants also shows that being part of Mockingbird can be an extremely rewarding experience.
Here’s to you
I’d like to thank our supporters who have come together from all walks of life, in all manner of outfits, and performing all sorts of tasks, to join our extended family and make such a huge difference.
We are glad that you are proud to support fostering.