Capstone Foster Care News

Capstone South West have been trialing a new idea which came about from The Shirin Yoko Forest Therapy day last May. November saw the first of their Walk and Talk Groups for carers (and dogs!) which took place in the New Forest. 

Carers expressed a wish to continue meeting on a regular basis but outside of offices and training rooms. One thing that many carers talk about is feeling isolated and how good it is to meet up with other carers who totally “get it”. Coming together in a natural environment creating an opportunity for carers to meet up with new and experienced carers, exchange ideas, views and support each other, but also to take some time for reflection and fresh air.

Our first session took place in the New Forest, we walked and talked for about an hour and half and then ended with a coffee (everyone brings flasks and biscuits.) The carers have loads of ideas for places to walk and given how large our geographical area is, Nikki is hopeful that most carers will be able to join us for at least 2 walks over the year, if not more!

The walks are planned for every other month and our next one will be on:

14th January 2020 at Kingston Lacy in Wimborne, Dorset at 10am.

We will be sending more details in the coming weeks but please put the date in your new 2020 diaries!

Please note, following suggestions at our last Walk and Talk, we have also discussed doing a family picnic in the New Forest in the summer months.

On Friday 22nd of November, Alison and Kelly from our Midlands team joined the fundraising team at Marie Curie Hospice in Solihull for a couple of hours to get the Hospice ready for Christmas and their Christmas Fayre.

The Fayre took place on Sunday 24th of November which was for the whole family, which included local craft traders, tombola, Santa’s grotto with gifts, arts & craft workshops as well as competitions for best dressed.

Our local communities are very important to us at Capstone and that’s why all of our members of staff are awarded a ‘volunteer day’ that they can use throughout the year to help out in their communities. Alison and Kelly kindly volunteered  their time to help decorate the Hospice and fundraise in Santa’s Grotto.

It’s important that the patients and their families feel welcome and at homely in the Hospice. Decorating it in Christmas decorations can really help get everyone in the mood and celebrate Christmas together, despite going through such tragedy in their lives.

In addition, on 4th December, the team also supported at a community collection at Superdrug in Solihull to raise even more funds from generous Christmas shoppers. Amy McNaughton-Brown of Marie Curie Hospice, Solihull, discusses why fundraising is so important to them:

“Our Christmas Fayre is a great way to bring some festive cheer to the Hospice and to the local community. We raised just over £5000 on the day which will all go towards helping us to continue providing care for people living with a terminal illness. We rely heavily on the support of the public in order to keep our Hospice services going, we only receive 34% of our income from the NHS meaning we have to raise the rest through events and from the generosity of the local community.

For many of our patients it will sadly be their last Christmas, which is why we want to make it extra special for them. Putting events on like this helps us to do that whilst at the same time raising vital funds to run our services.”

We felt honoured to do our bit and we look forward to supporting Marie Curie Hospice in future.



Today is Make a Gift Day and this encourages people to try and make a gift, no matter what it is, opposed to buying one. Not only does it save people money, it also can be more personable because it has shown you have put that extra thought into the gift.
To celebrate the day, our Heywood team invited all of our foster families to the office for a family Christmas Craft event.  During the event, Trish (one of our carers) and Eve (one of our young people), helped other carers and children to make table decorations with baubles and fern. These were incredibly popular and a lot of our children made one for their parents as a gift.
In addition, we also had a table set up which would allow children and their cares to make personalised tree decorations and handmade cards that they could gift to family and friends. It was so lovely to see everyone getting stuck into the crafts and coming up with some really lovely pieces which add that extra personal touch.
I was a fabulous night and all of the children interacted well and shared ideas when getting involved in the activities. Eve was encouraging other children and young people that came to attend more events including the Anchor youth group. It was also a fantastic opportunity for carers to let their hair down and meet other carers and share experiences in a relaxed environment.

We received the following feedback from the night:

“Thank you for tonight, I have really enjoyed it and made a gift for my mum” Debbie, foster carer

“I’m really pleased we came now and will come to the next Anchor group.” Keeley, young person

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