It’s become a tradition at Capstone North to visit the panto at Christmas. This year, 80 of over Heywood children and carers came together and attended the famous Oldham Coliseum. This theatre is renowned for pantomine and has been putting the extra sparkle into the festive season for generations, with all the ingredients for fantastic family fun: hit songs, silliness, a sprinkling of fairy dust and a generous helping of “It’s Behind You!”

This year’s panto was Jack and the Beanstalk – a true hit! The well-known story is about a boy called Jack that sells his cow for magic beans, much to the dismay of his mother. But when the beans grow into a gigantic beanstalk, Jacket sets off on an adventure in the magical land about the clouds.

Featuring a magic fairy, a hippy cow and of course, a giant, Jacket and the beanstalk is a traditional family pantomime with a modern twist – the perfect Christmas treat for children and the ‘not-go-grown-up’ grown-ups.

All the carers, staff and children loved the show. E, one of our young people who attended, was so impressed to see other young people performing on the stage, that she now wants to join a drama club and get into acting, which is so wonderful to hear!

Pantomime is great fun and a favourite with our carers in the North! We can’t wait for next year’s performance of Cinderella already.

Over Christmas our Heywood support workers Emma, Hayley and Helen took our youth group to Nando’s for their Christmas treat. The youth group has been up and running for a couple of years now and the group really look forward to meeting up.

Several young people aged over 11 attended the meal, all the young people have met before and are really familiar with each other. They sat and chatted nicely with each other while choosing which food they would like. Staff and the young people chatted about what they where up to over the Christmas period.

Christmas can be a challenge for our children and young people in care but it was nice to see that they were looking forward to activities that they had planned.

Everyone enjoyed the meal especially the puddings!

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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