Jules has been supporting children as a foster carer for Capstone for over 9 years in Westward Ho. Jules wanted to do something to support unaccompanied refugee children after reports emerged of 1500 children living in desperate conditions in Calais once the ‘Jungle’  was destroyed and burnt down.  Children were sleeping in the burnt out and demolished camp, with no water, little food and Jules responded to a social media campaign by ‘Calais Action’  requesting donations of food and belongings to support the young people. Eventually the children were accounted for by French authorities, and the plan was to move them to the UK once legislation was agreed.

In preparation for their arrival and to support the campaign being run by Calais Action, Jules decided to do her best to help:jl pic[2]

“Firstly I wanted to get people together on the Westward Ho Community Facebook page to donate a welcome present for the children to help them feel accepted here.  I rang the Mayor and councillor of Torrington who thought it was a wonderful idea and thanked me. She suggested if I was going to do anything would I ask for clothes shoes toiletries etc.  I also asked the locals to write some welcome cards, they responded, the cards were fantastic, so very thoughtful and kind. 

I always put myself in others shoes and just can’t imagine how traumatised these children must feel coming here standing up in the clothes they were wearing. I’m so glad I was able to help these young people with the support of my the community.”

Jules collected trainers, clothes and toiletries. The items were donated to North Devon Refuge Solidarity Group in preparation of the arrival of children. It’s likely that many unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) will be looked after in time by foster carers, and we support our foster carers very closely to look after unaccompanied and refugee children and young people. Our training covers topics to help foster carers:

  • understand the legal status and position of unaccompanied asylum seeking and refugee children
  • identify the complex and diverse needs of this group of children and the possible ways of meeting these needs
  • understand the impact of the “refugee-making” process and the role of carers in this
  • describe the impact of trauma, loss and separation on children and young people
  • consider the impact on carers and the specific skills that may be needed to care for unaccompanied asylum seeking and refugee children.

There are many ways that you can support children children in crisis, from both home and abroad. If fostering is something you are interested we would like to hear from you.

Ride for RowcroftSteve and I signed up to do the Ride for Rowcroft 24k cycle ride on the 1st October to support Rowcroft and all the wonderful work they do. Steve’s Dad was looked after in Rowcroft in his final days and they could not have been more caring, supportive and compassionate – it was the best place we could have wished for him to be cared for in his final few days (and it seemed that this event was meant for us as it’s Steve’s birthday on the day!).

It was raining hard on the Saturday morning and we groaned and wondered whose silly idea it was to get up at 6.30am on a stormy, wet October morning to do a cycle ride!  But we put extra layers and coats on to keep dry and warm and off we went.  When we arrived at the venue the storm clouds started rolling away and the sun came out.  Hooray!  We set off splashing our way through puddles in Kingsteignton, then Chudleigh Knighton and into Bovey Tracey for a quick pit stop.  Then Teigngrace and the last section of cycle path taking us back to Newton Abbot.  With tired legs but glad hearts and the promise of a bacon bap we rounded the corner to the home straight and made one last effort to get to the finish.  We finished in 1hr 16 mins and had a well-deserved coffee and bacon butty.  Thanks so much to everyone who sponsored us; Rowcroft are hoping the event will raise about £20,000 which will go some way to making a chink in their nearly £600,000 shortfall.

To sponsor us please go to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Helen-Folland?utm_source=Facebook

Helen & Stephen

Our Devon and Cornwall carers Nathan and Kerry McCabe won first prize in this year’s e-safety survey conducted by Guardian Saints. The results of the survey help support our fostering communities and raising awareness of the challenges they face in keeping our young people safe online.

This year nearly 400 carers completed Guardian Saints’ e-safety online questionnaire to enter their draw and win Amazon vouchers to the value of £250.

Foster carers were asked a series of short questions about themselves, how they and the young people they look after use the Internet, what challenges they have had around online safety and what they think are the key dangers the Internet presents to young people in care. For the first time, questions about data management & security were included.

Who are Guardian Saints? They are a not for profit community interest company, formed in 2014 by two parents, both with successful careers in digital asset protection for the corporate banking sector, and a foster carer. United by a deep concern about the dangers presented by our increasingly connected online world, they came together with a mission to use their skills in the online protection of the most valuable asset of all – our children.


Tamsin Thorburn, Capstone Senior Practitioner at our Devon & Cornwall office, presents Kerry McCabe with her winning vouchers

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