Our blog

A Lesson in Scottish for our IT Team

11 January 2018

An important part of Swiis Foster Care’s ethos is the need for good communication. This happens in many shapes and forms, whether it is with everyday conversations, meetings, e-mail or by telephone.

Our world is fast changing, where people want things sooner rather than later and are impatient to get things done.

To help keep up with this kind of demand, our fantastic IT team in London have put together a new communication package whereby all of the above is possible in a faster, reliable and most importantly in the current financial climate, cheaper!

Three of the very talented IT team, Sam, Peyush and Stephen made the trip North to Scotland to make the big switchover from our old phone system to Skype for Business.

However, one thing the boys forgot to bring with them on their trip to Scotland, was an interpreter. It was bad enough in the Fife and Glasgow offices, but the looks on their faces when they tried to make sense of the Dundee dialect was priceless!

Overcoming this language barrier seemed to be the biggest hurdle they had to face because as usual the IT teams’ expertise made the switchover as quick and as simple as possible and it wasn’t long before the boys had returned to London to solve all the issues that all our teams in Swiis inundate them with daily.

A big thank you from our teams in Scotland to Sam, Peyush, Stephen and everyone else in IT that helped with this switchover. They help keep Swiis running on a daily basis and are an immensely important part of the Swiis team. What would we do without you all.

Haste ye back.

Recognising the Achievements of our Dundee Young People

10 January 2018

At Swiis, we believe it’s important to recognise the amazing accomplishments that our young people and children achieve.

On 29th November 2017, a very special event was held in Dundee. Our young people and their carers celebrated the achievements our young people have worked towards with the Swiis Foster Care Dundee office over the past year, and what achievements they are!

The Swiis Awards Ceremony 2017 was held to honour the young people who have worked very hard in developing skills, trying new experiences, and learning something new. Over the past year, 28 young people have achieved a combination of 38 awards and qualifications between them! These included awards for; Internet Safety Awareness, participation in a 6-week Youth Group and Sports Leader UK Young Leaders Award. Some of the qualifications our young people worked hard to achieve were Personal Achievement Awards and Level 4 Volunteering Skills Awards. These are accredited by the Scottish Qualifications Authority and the Level 4 Sports Leader Award means that these young people can qualify as an assistant sports coach. Awarding achievements in Dundee.

The evening was a great success, and their achievements were acclaimed by our very own Director of Foster Care Scotland, Sam Arnott. Invited guest speakers, Jamie McBrearty from Growth Mindset Dundee and local budding musician Neil McLaren gave inspirational and inspiring speeches on reaching life goals and developing in the face of adversity, which gave the young people a very powerful and motivational message. Special guests from Dundee United, players Cammy Ballantyne and Jamie Robson, kindly came along and presented the awards. Some of the supporters in attendance were left a little star-struck! The evening came to an end with some music from Neil, light refreshments and a chance for everyone to share and admire the medals, trophies and certificates they had received.

The feedback about both the awards, and the evening has been really positive from the young people and their carers. Taking this forward, we will be looking to continue to support wider achievement for our young people over the next year. Well done to all those that worked so hard this year, we’re so proud of you!

If this has inspired you to foster, please get in contact with us by sending us an enquiry, or by phoning us on 0333 240 9049.

Aviemore 10K for Fife Resource Worker

02 January 2018

We love a reason to celebrate the achievements of members of our Swiis Scotland team, whether this is achievements inside, or outside work!

Allan Thomson, a Resource Worker with the Fife team at Swiis Scotland recently took part in the Aviemore 10K. Alan took part in the run along with other members of his family, and even sported a t-shirt with a Swiis logo on the front and back during the run.

The original weather forecast was to be rainy and windy, but in true Scottish fashion the day turned out to be sunny and dry with a slight wind – ideal conditions for running. On the day, several thousand runners turned out to take part in both the 10K and the half marathon. The run was set in the beautiful Cairngorms National Park and started at the Badaguish, which is situated in the Glenmore Forest.

A huge well done to Allan for taking part in the run and completing it in just over an hour with a final time of 1.05.57. A brilliant achievement for Allan. We’re all so proud of him!

Christmas Extravaganza in Fife

19 December 2017

In the ethos of volunteering and community partnership, the Swiis Fife team joined the Alloa and District Round Table on a dreich 12th December 2017 to bring some festive spirit. With headband antlers donned, giggles, laughs and music, we welcomed a 500-strong group of older people to enjoy a festive ‘Christmas Extravaganza’.

An annual event by the Alloa and District Round Table, the ‘Christmas Extravaganza’ is a highlight for some older adults, group homes and pensioner groups.

As we got ready to start, there was a constant flurry of hats, scarves, walking sticks and gloves as everyone excitedly came in. The Fife deer’s conscientiously supported people to find friends, get the right seat (they always sit there) (these seats are best for getting up to dance) escort others to their seats and offer a listening ear to others.

Suddenly the Town Hall was transported into a pantomime – ‘no it wasn’t, oh yes it very much was’. Our very own dame, Education Worker, Kenney Ramage, took to the stage as ‘Widow Ramage’. Kenny was resplendent in an evening gown, wig and lots of sparkle. As the compere, Kenney warmed and wowed the crowd ready for Sunnyside Primary School, Neil Diamond, a Johnny Cash tribute act and a comedian.Kenney Ramage as Widow Ramage

Dancing and merriment was the recipe for the day as the Fife deer’s ran around handing out steak pies and ice cream (500 pies, tubs and spoons to be exact!) Our next job was the raffle, a very important job ensuring tickets were sold and that prizes were handed to the ‘right’ people (apparently last year lots of folk made a mistake with the colour of their tickets!!).

It was a fantastic event with the 500-strong crowd enjoying every minute of laughs, dancing, heckling and taking part. We recognise that Christmas can be a very lonely and emotive time for older adults and feel that we provided a real bit of festive cheer, but also advertised Swiis positively in the community.

Happy Christmas to everyone from the Fife Swiis team.

A Helping Hand this Christmas

19 December 2017

Throughout the year, our teams at Swiis Foster Care Scotland host events, coffee mornings and collect donations to support various charities. This year, our team in Glasgow have chosen two specific charities to support throughout the festive period. The team chose to support Glasgow Mission and Second Chance Scotland.

Glasgow Mission work with adults and children who are vulnerable and disadvantaged in Glasgow. They help them to break free from their situations.

Second Chance Scotland are a charity in Glasgow, run by Daniel Sloan and his team. Those at Second Chance Scotland work hard all year round to ensure help and support is provided to those who are homeless, poor or unemployed.

To show our support, we’ve made donations that includes warm clothing, toiletries and food items. This is to provide those living on the streets with the essentials they may need to help battle the cold winter months ahead. We filled drawstring bags with various items including hats, socks, scarves, gloves, toiletries, water and food items. We passed these on to Daniel and his team to distribute to those in need throughout Glasgow.

The team in Glasgow also made donations of various food items, selection boxes, Christmas crackers and treats which were packed into a large Christmas box and passed onto the Trussell Trust Glasgow NE Foodbank. These will be donated to a family in need this Christmas to ensure that they have all that they need to enjoy a special Christmas meal together on Christmas Day.

The charity was very grateful for all the donations and we were pleased to receive a thank you card to the team for our efforts.

Christmas Arrives in Fife

18 December 2017

On the 9th December, Fife had a flurry of activity in a little building called Glenelvan House. Christmas tunes echoed out, the smells of hot coffee, and warming food filled the air, while the laughter and giggles of children and adults rang out. Christmas had arrived in Fife!

The Swiis training room took on the ambience and decor of a German Christmas Market and transformed into a veritable craft paradise. With items for sale from fifty pence, there truly was something for everyone to buy as gifts.

Glitter tattoos were applied and admired, and activities were enjoyed by everyone. Sparry’s reindeers arrived again and were snapped up fast, whilst Rachel and Michelle sold handmade crafts. A young person created mini canvas’s and James, Kenney and their foster child allowed people to guess the teddy’s birthday. All were kept going by Eric Copson and his drinks and snacks.

Our carers are a wonderful group and were on hand to help, support and sell. Without them the day would not have been such a huge success. Thanks to everyone who came, supported, sold, and spent. Children at our Fife Christmas fair

This was our second fair, and it was certainly bigger and better than last year. Those who attended (we were packed) shared the Christmas enjoyment and certainly spent their money.

Donations from the day will be going to two charities; Edinburgh Homeless (chosen by a young person) and Fife Link Chernobyl Children’s Life Line.

The Magic of Christmas

07 December 2017

Christmas is a magical time of the year with everybody scurrying about trying to get everything organised for this special day. It’s a time when everybody should feel a sense of belonging when they see their family and loved ones over the festive period.

One of the most important times in a child’s life should be Christmas time. The shops are blasting out music that can only be played at this time of year and there’s the excitement of wondering what gifts Santa will leave under the tree.

For a looked after child, this is not always the case.

They are often missing their own family even more on the lead-up to Christmas. They are in a home where there are different traditions and festivities from what they have experienced before.

Even worse, some of our children don’t know what it’s like to have a happy Christmas due to their chaotic or traumatic past life where they never had that feeling of putting up a Christmas tree or switching on the Christmas lights.

At Swiis, we feel these young people deserve that little bit of extra attention when they come into our care.

So, you can imagine how excited one of our young people was when they knew they were going to be part of switching on Dundee’s Christmas lights. Excited is an understatement! This wee girl felt so important to be part of this she wouldn’t stop talking about it from the first day she found out.

Seeing the massive Christmas tree light up in front of her, as she helped press the plunger gave this wee girl a sense of wonderment and excitement that all children should feel at Christmas. We thank all the staff at Kilmac construction who made this possible.

Now, even those who don’t believe in the magic of Christmas have come to the conclusion that Santa Claus is real.

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

Jump around! Special workshop for Fife Children who Foster

27 November 2017

Children of foster carers play an important role in the fostering process, and we believe it’s important to recognise the special role they play.

Our Fife team recently ran a special event for our Children who Foster, combining a workshop with a fun activity.

For the workshop, a member of Swiis staff spoke to the young people about the reasons why children are taken into care and how they end up in their new homes as foster children. We discussed the types of behaviours they may experience from these young people, and helped them consider the reasons for their reactions. The group listened really well, communicating their thoughts and feelings sensitively. Swiis trip to Xtreme Trampoline Park.

Once we had finished our discussions, our Children who Foster were treated to a trip to the Xtreme Trampoline Park in Glenrothes! All the young people joined in – along with one staff member – and tried out everything there, from the trampolines and basketball to the cushion jump and wall-walk.

All of the young people enjoyed their time at Xtreme – we’re already planning next year’s trip!

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

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