On 12th December, it was time for Capstone to reward and celebrate the foster carers in the South West Region. A sumptuous Christmas lunch was enjoyed by our carers and staff to show Capstone’s appreciation of all the hard work and dedication to fostering our carers have provided the children this year. The event  gave our Area manager, Scott Wickers, to present some long service awards to our carers who have completed five and ten years’ service dedicated to fostering with Capstone.

Jules has been fostering with Capstone for ten years and has provide a home, love and support for many young people over the years and we really value all of Jules hard work and commitment to her role. Here is what Jules had to say:

“Thank you so very much to you and Capstone for my flowers etc. I feel very valued again”

Anthony and Heather have been fostering with Capstone for five years now, again they have helped to support young people with complex needs very successfully. Heather said:

“I can’t believe it’s been five years! Where has the time gone, I thought is was three. Thank you to Capstone for our gifts we’re so happy”.

Our carers really enjoyed the lunch and appreciated being valued by the Capstone team for all they do. Here is what another carer had to say about the event:

“We just wanted to thank you and Capstone for such a lovely Christmas lunch. Thank you also for the Christmas tree with biscuits, can’t wait for Christmas to open them! We wish you and everyone at Capstone a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!”

As well as celebrating the long service of carers, we are delighted to celebrate the long service of staff including Maggie Andrews, who has completed 10 years’ service with Capstone. Maggie is a finance officer in the Devon office who facilicates the important role of Carer payments and contracts with local authorities.


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.


B one of our looked after children in the South West has found a new hobby that he has really connected with – Karting! B’s foster carer Trevor has been karting for about 40 years on and off which included racing at a local level and national level as an individual privateer and with his race team, Stars of Karting. B showed an interest in Karting so he progressed from watching to driving a kart. B has been easy to teach the art of motor racing and has become a good driver. Trevor hopes to enter B into a race sometime this year at Llandow or Clay pigeon raceway (where Jenson Button learned to drive with his father John Button).

B said “I like karting because I like to see how fast I can make the kart go. I also like to see how all of the mechanics work.”

Capstone are really happy that B has been inspired and Trevor has helped B to grow in confidence and develop his skills in Karting. We can’t to follow their journey together and who knows he may just become the next Lewis Hamilton.


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