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Battle of Bannockburn Visit for Chernobyl Children

02 August 2018

Each year, the Swiis Fife Team nominate a charity they want to support. This year, they have been supporting the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline – Fife Link. This local cause provides a valuable experience for many children living within the Chernobyl disaster affected zone. The group bring children from Chernobyl over to Scotland and local groups and organisation host days out for them.

As part of our support to the charity, Swiis Foster Care Scotland arranged a trip to the Battle of Bannockburn for the group. Fife Education Adviser, Kenney Ramage tells us more.

“The session started with the young people meeting Resource Worker, Allan Thomson and myself at the Fife Swiis office, ready to board the mini bus for Bannockburn. When we got to the centre, I led the group on a visit to the large statue and flag pole, where it was believed that the Scottish army camped the night before the battle. It was then time to head inside for the 3D visitor experience, where the young people were amazed that they got to feel the weapons that may have been used as well.

“From there, it was onto the battle room, where the group played the part of the Scottish army. The young people, despite not speaking English, quickly understood the instructions they had to give to the games master to take victory. They went on to defeat the English, using various battle tactics to move their armies across the battlefield to attack the opposing armies. At least we won again after our loss on our last visit to the Battle of Bannockburn!

“Next we headed to causewayhead park where the young people played football with some local children while we waited for our pizza. After lunch, we stopped off for some award-winning ice cream at Orlandis in Alloa, which everyone enjoyed!

“When we arrived back at the office, Fife Team Manager, Louise Findlay, and the rest of the team surprised the young people with bags filled with clothes, toiletries and some toys for the children to take back home. The Fife and Permanence teams had collected and donated money to make the bags for the young people. They loved the gifts and thanked the staff for a wonderful day out.”

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.

Swiis Foster Carer Attends Fostering Network Celebration Event

31 July 2018

Recently, The Fostering Network held a fun day for primary school age children and foster carers to celebrate the amazing contribution foster carers and their families make to fostering across Scotland. Fife Trainee Social Worker, Annie Arbuckle tells us all about the event.

“Only one family from each fostering agency could attend the celebration, so Swiis foster carer, Audrey was nominated by the Permanence Team to represent Swiis Foster Care. Audrey was chosen in recognition of her being a highly motivated, committed and nurturing foster carer.

Audrey and her family were excited to attend the fun day at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh. They were given a tour of the exhibitions, lunch, and there was workshops for the children. The workshop involved the children being given a puppet, material and a cardboard box to make a bedroom that they would like to sleep in. According to Audrey, this caused quite a stir as one girl made a hot tub for hers, another had a large fish tank in his.

Audrey and her family enjoyed their day out and are already planning another outing to Dynamic Earth.”

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.

A Fun-filled 30th Party in Fife

24 July 2018

On the 6th July, the Swiis 30th Party for the Fife Team and Permanence Team took place on a beautiful Scottish summer day. Staff within the two teams came together to create a party worthy of a 30-year celebration. Ruth Caldwell, Fife Team Senior Practitioner, tells us all about it. 

The townhall in Lochgelly was transformed quickly by lots of busy staff making balloon arches, and running around getting food and drinks prepared and tables set out. The creation of a party ambience was soon accomplished by the many helpers. The top table was resplendent with a helium balloon arch, a ‘Swiishy’ cake and marvellous cupcakes and Swiis cake made by one of our amazing foster carers, Claire Blyth!

We had plenty planned for the day; two bouncy castles, a DJ, party games, and of course, the young person from our Permanence Team who had learned face painting especially for the celebrations. We were also overjoyed to welcome two very special guests; Skye and Marshall of Paw Patrol, who proved that 27°C heat wasn’t going to stop them dancing and enjoying themselves.Face Painting at Swiis in Fife

The party was a resounding success; laughter, dancing and enjoyment filled the air and everyone enjoyed the celebrations. There were lots of exhausted, sweaty, face painted children, who left happy and some with newly made friends.  A great day to remember and one that will be talked about for years to come.

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.

Fife Pirate Day – Ahoy there matey!

17 July 2018

The school holidays are a great opportunity for our children and young people to try new activities. In Scotland, we arrange a number of day trips to allow our young people to interact with each other and have a great day out. Fife Education Worker, Kenney Ramage tells us about their first summer activity.

“Young people from both the Fife Team and the Permanence Team attended the first of this year’s activity days; the Pirate Day at Lochore Meadows. The day involved our children and young people listening to a local story teller, Kate Walker who told tales of local pirates on the River Forth. Inspired by their talk, they then painted and designed their own pirate flags. Neil dressed as a pirate for Pirate Day

In the afternoon, the children and young people took to the water on two canoe boats for a game of battleships. The aim of the game was to try and capture the opposing team’s flag. The winning team was my team, and the crew of ‘Captain Kenney’s’ boat were crowned the winners. Once we were crowned winners, the children and young people were jumping out of the boats into the Loch. For some of them, it was the first time they had been out swimming in open water and they really enjoyed it. A great day for all involved!

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.

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.”

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.

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.”

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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