Our clever, clever team in Cumbria held their annual Drop and Shop day this week, where foster carers drop the kids in with the team for fun and games leaving them free to get on with the last minute Christmas shopping!
As you might imagine, quite a few of our Cumbria foster carers took the team up on the Drop and Shop Day opportunity and there was a great little group of children enjoying the games and Christmas crafts that the staff had arranged to keep them fully entertained. Despite a huge age range, from the youngest little one of 2 years old right up to 13, the children all participated enthusiastically and played beautifully together.
The children exercised their creativity making Christmas cards and posters using all kinds of resources, from paint and pens to pom-poms, feathers, glitter and of course - googly eyes!!
At lunchtime everyone sat down together for food and a Christmas film and had a chat about the kind of activities and trips they would like to do in the coming year. After lunch they added their favourite ideas to the Wish Tree. A trip to Blackpool is still a firm favourite so you can probably expect to see pictures of Blackpool Tower, donkey rides, candy floss and roller coasters on our website sometime in 2017!
In the afternoon the crew let off a bit of steam playing different games including a very loud and very energetic game of musical statues! Having the children together like this was also a great opportunity for a 'Bright Ideas' session, where the team listen to the children's views and ideas about Family Fostercare and what they would like to see more or less of. The children even worked together as a team compiling a list of questions that they think prospective team members and foster carers should be asked. Among their suggestions were some so sweet and simple yet so fundamental that they bring a little tear to the eye: Are you kind? Do you like going on family trips? Can you talk and play with children?.
So the day was a great success all round - the children played games and had fun, our busy foster carers had the chance to do some last minute Christmas shopping without the kids in tow, and we gained further insight into the children's thoughts, wishes and ideas which we can feed into our work to keep on improving our agency and the care it provides to children in 2017.