A Happy Christmas

Dec 21 2023

Mr and Mrs Clause

Over the Christmas holidays, we see the Grinch’s heart grow three sizes and Scrooge become a second father to Tiny Tim and we are reminded of the need to care for others.

But there are already angels in our midst who know that caring for others extends far beyond Christmas. Hampshire County Council’s foster carers open their homes and their hearts to vulnerable young people all year long.

Throughout the year our Hampshire Hives, groups of local foster carers who help to build a community of care around each foster family, host events to bring foster families together.

This winter has been no different as foster carers and Hive Carer Support Workers celebrated the season by hosting various Christmas parties across the county to create magical moments for the children in their care.

One such event was a Christmas party hosted by the Waterlooville 1, Hayling 2 and Havant hives, which included Christmas Bingo, Pass the Parcel, Paperchain Challenge, a funny photobooth, a dance off, crafts, games, a teenage area, and a special visit from Father Christmas!

Johnny Creighton, Waterlooville’s Hive Carer Support Worker, said, ‘Everyone seemed to have a lovely time including our amazing teenagers. A special mention goes out to the carers that made the time to support the event and those that helped clean up at the end. A special thing for me was seeing children playing with each other and making new friends whilst having fun. We are already looking forward to next year’s Christmas party.’

In Gosport, foster carers Debbie and Tony Stevenson, turned their home into a South Pole Grotto. Over 80 young people visited the beautifully decorated grotto over a weekend. With support from HFN, Blitz Photography, friends, and gifts donated by Mission Christmas, Santa spread Christmas cheer assisted by his friendly elf, who helped to welcome local children.

Debbie, otherwise known as Mrs Clause, said, ‘We find that it works really well for our young people as there are no queues as everyone has a booked time slot, so it’s not rushed. It’s a calm environment so helps them to stay regulated. We had a quick crafts table where they could decorate a tree ornament to take away with them and then go in to see Santa. We have had some amazing feedback from carers where young people who have been about Santa have left us believing in him which is just magical.’

Thank you to all the incredible Hive Carer Support Workers and foster carers who have made this holiday season so wonderful for foster families. Equally, thank you for the inspirational efforts you put into supporting the children every single day of the year.

To find out more about becoming a foster carer or to join your local hive, visit the Fostering Hampshire Children website and download an information pack, or call the team on 01489 587052.