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Swiis Dundee 30th Birthday Celebrations

20 June 2018

On Saturday 26th May in Dundee, foster carers, their families, children and young people went along en masse to celebrate 30 years of Swiis. The Dundee party was the first of a series of parties across Scotland and England to celebrate Swiis turning 30. Dundee Resource Worker, Karyn Brady tells us all about their celebrations for Swiis’ birthday celebrations.

“We were amazed to have such a fantastic turnout for our party, with over 110 people coming along to celebrate Swiis turning 30 years old and join in all the fun we had spent ages planning.

We had a variety of activities planned for everyone to enjoy, which included face painting, beat the goalie, and hunting for treasure. We even had some visits from the Police and Fire Service, who had heard all about Swiis turning 30 and wanted to enjoy the fun and meet everyone. Swiis Dundee Birthday Cake

The highlight of the 30th birthday party for us, was our amazing children and young people, who showed just how talented they are by showcasing some of their arts and crafts. One individual even wowed us with their brilliant magician skills – they were so confident performing in front of people. Those that attended were treated to some lunch and got to tuck into the celebratory birthday cake!

Thank you to all our children, young people and foster carers who were able to make the party and make it so memorable for everyone involved.”

Bookbug Training for Fife Staff

04 June 2018

Resource Workers from the Fife Team recently attended Bookbug training run by the Scottish Book Trust and funded by the Scottish Government. Resource Worker Elaine tells us more about Bookbug and the sessions that Allan and herself are now able to deliver.

“Bookbug sessions are free, fun events for families to enjoy together and now as fully trained Bookbug leaders, we are able to deliver training to our brilliant foster carers, babies and toddlers. Our training involved us learning to plan and confidently lead effective Bookbug sessions. We listed to the best ways to engage families and how the different activities can be used within the sessions to develop family bonding. We learned how to select books that are appropriate for Bookbug and how to effectively use them during a session – no matter how many people are in attendance.

The sessions we deliver will last around 30 minutes and includes songs, stories and rhymes. They will take place in a very relaxed environment and are a great opportunity to spend some quality time with the little ones.

The Bookbug sessions are designed to help build confidence, social skills and give speech and language development a real boost. They encompass play, learning and the development of social relationships and help to foster emotional and physical wellbeing.

It will be a real benefit to our foster carers and young people being able to deliver the Bookbug training.”

Fun at the Scottish Deer Centre

31 May 2018

A fun day was had at the Scottish Deer Centre in Cupar in a joint outing with the children and young people, and their foster carers from both our Permanence and Fife Teams. Resource Worker Neil Pitcaithly, tells us all about their day out.

“Although winter appeared to have returned for the outing to the Scottish Deer Centre, the children and young people were oblivious to the elements and went on to have a great time. The children and young people started their day playing together and warming up on the climbing frame and chute, and ran around having great fun playing tig.

Once everyone had burnt off some energy, they all enjoyed getting to experience the deer. They all loved the responsibility of being able to get close to the deer, and feed them by hand. They were all so calm and patient around the deer.Swiis Fife at the Deer Park

After a quick snack to refuel, it was time for the bird of prey show. They all loved the show, especially when they watched a Harris Hawk catching food in mid-air.

After lunch we had a walk around the park with the ranger who educated the children and young people on the various breeds of deer they have in the park. As well as the deer, we also enjoyed seeing the otters and wolves. Sadly, the bear had gone back to bed due to the snowy weather returning.

Despite the poor weather, a fun and educational day was had by all. We look forward to our next team outing.”

What is Foster Care Fortnight?

14 May 2018

Today, the annual Foster Care Fortnight campaign launches across the UK, but what is the next two weeks all about? Why do we need a fortnight dedicated to foster care?

Foster Care Fortnight is the UK’s biggest foster care awareness raising campaign, delivered by the charity, The Fostering Network. It has been running for nearly 20 years and celebrates the inspirational commitment, passion and dedication of foster carers.

The main aim of the campaign is to increase awareness about the need for more people to become foster carers and join a community who make an incredible difference to the lives of thousands of children who deserve to feel safe, cared for and happy. Whether it is something you may have considered for a long time or you are in the early stages of learning about it, Foster Care Fortnight is an opportunity to learn more about this incredibly rewarding career, the benefits it can bring you and the difference you can make.

There are many ways in which you can help during the fortnight:

  • Like our social media pages: Facebook and Twitter and share our posts, we will be sharing lots of photos of our staff and carers celebrating #FCF18
  • Use the hashtag #Proudtosupportfostering or #FCF18
  • Strike up a conversation with friends or family about fostering to raise awareness. For example, did you know there are nearly 80,000 children in the UK in care and it is estimated that a further 7,180 foster families are needed in the next 12 months to ensure all fostered children can live with the right family for them?

If you would like to speak to one of our team please call us on 0333 577 1234 or enquire here.

Learning About The Battle of Bannockburn

11 May 2018

The Fife and Permanence Teams from our Dunfermline office tell us about a recent very interesting trip for our children and young people.

“The Fife and Permanence Teams from Dunfermline arranged a trip to the Bannockburn visitors centre, during the Easter holidays for seven young people, plus a carer and several staff from both teams. This educational trip was so we could all learn about the Battle of Bannockburn, which took place on the 24th of June 1314.

Part of the day involved a tour with a 3D element. Everybody was issued with their glasses and witnessed an enactment of several parts of the battle in 3D. We all found it amazing, especially as when arrows were fired, it was like they were firing at you.

As part of the centre, there were swords and chain mail on display, as well as examples of all the weapons used by both sides in the battle. Once we had finished looking at all the weapons, we went into the battle room, where a plan was laid out of the Bannockburn area. In there, a member of staff told everyone the story of the battle.Swiis Fife explore the Kelpies

Next, it was battle time! Two children were chosen; one to be the Queen of England and one the King of Scotland. The room was split in to two to represent the Scottish army and the English army and battle commenced. On this occasion, the English won – although we should add that on a previous visit to Bannockburn, the Scottish won. Let’s see what happens next time!

The group all learned about the battle and could see what weapons were used at that time and how the battle was waged and how it was won on the day. It was a really educational, and enjoyable day for everyone.

To end the day, we stopped off at the Kelpies to see the equine sculptures and enjoy an ice-cream – the fact the weather was a little on the cool side didn’t stop our enjoyment.

Thank you to everyone who attended, it was a fantastic day!”

Glasgow Transport Museum Visit

02 May 2018

Over the Easter break, the Fife Team held a day out for Fife young people at the Glasgow Transport Museum, for everyone to see different modes of transport from the past.

Seven children and young people, plus three members of Swiis staff went on the museum trip to Glasgow. For some of the young people, it was their first time getting to visit this museum and learn all about the history of Glasgow and transport. Two of the children were really looking forward to visiting the museum as they are petrol heads and have a great interest in cars. For one boy, he achieved one of his goals, which was to see one of the first Mini’s ever built, as he has a love for Mini cars, he was really excited to achieve a dream.

Mirror fun at the Transport MuseumAll the children and young people had a fantastic day, seeing everything from horse drawn carriages, to trains and boats. Through the different forms of transport, the children and young people could see what it was like to travel in days gone by. The young people enjoyed learning about past modes of transport and were able to advance their knowledge about how various modes of transport have developed from horse drawn carriages to modern day transport.

Another popular feature at the museum, was a mirror which distorted how the young people looked – they all thought that this was really fun.

Thank you to everyone that attended, we had a great day, and the Fife Team will look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Easter Tubing Fun at Polmonthill Snowsports Centre

27 April 2018

The school holidays allow members of our Permanence Team to have a good old catch-up, and plenty of fun to boot.

This Easter break, the Permanence Team had another fun-filled visit to Polmonthill Snowsports Centre for tubing. There were many excited faces amongst the children, adults and staff as we waited to start our session – and the fun didn’t stop there. It was great to see all the children having so much fun racing each other down the ski slope. The adults also joined in, as their competitive streaks took over, but they weren’t nearly as fast as the children this time – no matter how much they tried! One thing that struck us all, was how nice it was to see some of the children who hadn’t seen each other for some time catching up with each other. Always marvellous to witness!

Tubing is such a popular activity and everyone is already looking forward to the next event later in the year! And that is just the adults we are talking about!

Being a foster carer gives you the opportunity to transform a life. Contact us today to start your fostering journey.

Cyber-Safety and Archery Sessions

24 April 2018

On Thursday 12th April, three of our Dundee young people kicked off their day with a visit to the local community hub in Aviemore. Here, Fraser Morrison from the Youth Development Team at Aviemore delivered a session on cyber-safety. The group discussed important issues such as cyberbullying and how to keep yourself safe and secure online. The young people put their learning to the test with interactive quiz’s and did very well indeed, showing how much they had learned during the session!

The afternoon saw staff and young people take on the task of being the next Robin Hood or Katniss Everdeen by taking part in an archery lesson. Although getting a bullseye was the aim of the game, some of us seemed more skilled at aiming the arrows at the clouds! Nevertheless, great fun was had by all.

Thank you to those that attended, we had a great day learning about cyber-safety and the art of archery!

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