Even Scrooge himself would have loved our Great Big Fun-Filled Family Christmas Party for our foster families in the West Midlands region last week at Hartlebury Parish Hall! There was a fantastic turnout with over 20 families and 88 people in total joining us for the festivities which included Christmas themed crafts, competitions and lots to keep everyone entertained!
Our Family Workers from the Worcester and Dudley offices, Rachel and Tracey, and other members of the fostering team had worked hard to get the venue ready, which was laid out like a Christmas Fayre with different zones for different activities. Each family or staff member brought along a dish for our delicious Bring and Share buffet, and everyone came dressed for the occasion in Christmas jumpers or costumes, and there was plenty of sparkle, tinsel and silly hats - we even had a full reindeer suit! Despite the abundance of festive dress there's always room for a bit of facepainting and our favourite face painter who was such a hit at our summer BBQ was there, very artistically transforming the children into little reindeers and elves through the magic of face paint!
At the craft table the children enjoyed getting creative (and a little bit messy!) painting Christmas baubles and decorations, creating their own Christmas cards and plenty of Christmassy drawing and colouring in. At the competition table we had a Chocolate Memory game, a Name the Reindeer game to win reindeer teddy bear, and the Christmas party classic Stick the Red Nose on the Reindeer, with everyone receiving a little something for participating.
One of the star attractions of the party was the photo booth, provided by BBC Inflatables in Worcester. With free photo printouts the photobooth was pretty much in constant use, with 215 photos being taken! Our foster families took the opportunity to take family pictures together, and children who have become firm friends through attending events like our Christmas party, the Children's Council meetings and the various summer activity days took many photos together. It was wonderful to see the children taking their happy memories home with them, captured in print.
Probably the star attraction though (also by BBC Inflatables) was the Rodeo Reindeer bucking bronco, which was a massive hit with young and old alike! There was a competition for the longest adult and the longest child time on the bucking bronco which proved to be the source of much fun and hilarity... and a lot of noise as the children vigorously cheered each other along!
Towards the end of the party Registered Manager for the West Midlands offices Chris Morgan the winners and presented prizes for the best adult and child fancy dress, the longest adult and child time on the bucking bronco, the winner of the chocolate memory game and the winner of the name the reindeer competition. Winners came up to the stage to receive their prize and received a hearty round of applause. Chris also presented the £400 cheque from Family Fostercare to Project Linus from our recent fundraising activities to support the quilters charity that so generously donates handmade quilts for our childrens' welcome boxes.
And just as our little prize ceremony drew to a close, who should come in but Santa Claus?! Children big and small lined up to have a chat with Santa about their Christmas wishes and everyone came away with a little gift given to them by the Jolly Bearded One himself - the perfect end to a lovely, warm, happy family Christmas party.