25 Years of Caring for Children and Young People

In July, New Routes Fostering marked 25 years of supporting children and young people with a celebration at Coleshill Town Hall.

Invited foster carers past and present, as well as children and young people currently placed through the service, joined staff at an afternoon tea party. Also attending were young people who have left the scheme, Father Hudson’s trustees, former employees and panel members. New Routes Fostering is operated by Father Hudson’s Care as part of their support for children and families.

Guests were free to drop in throughout the afternoon and were greeted with a glass of bubbly or juice on arrival. The event was busy from start to end and there was always something to keep people entertained. Craig from MagicAParty helped get everyone into the swing with a magic show and balloon modelling that entertained children and adults alike. There was a display of photos from previous events held by New Routes Fostering and guests were delighted to pick out familiar faces from the old pictures.

Tamworth Voices choir, which included New Routes’ very own Angela Notman, gave a wonderful performance, singing a variety of musical numbers. After the choir finished, guests tucked into lunch. Two sets of carers took to the stage to receive certificates, flowers and trophies to celebrate reaching some big milestones, having fostered for twenty and fourteen years. These were presented with by Kevin Caffrey, who set up New Routes Fostering in 1992 and who is the Chair of Father Hudson’s.

After the speeches, a DJ provided music for the rest of the afternoon while guests chatted and reminisced. Joanne Walthew, the new Head of Children and Families at Father Hudson’s Care, said: ‘A great time was had by all. The planning that went into arranging the event paid dividends, and I would like to thank all the staff and volunteers that were involved for their commitment and dedication in making this a success. Of course, no celebration is successful without attendees, all of whom, both past and present, have contributed to the journey and the milestone reached by the project. It was certainly a day for reflecting and one that was both uplifting and inspirational.’

Everyone who went had a great time celebrating the achievements not just of New Routes Fostering, but of the children and young people who have passed through its care and the dedicated foster carers, without whom nothing would be possible. Those who helped out on the day included Megan Adams, who had catered the event and provided a fantastic celebration cake, Martyn the volunteer photographer and Mohammed the face painter.

The small, friendly team at New Routes pride themselves on getting to know the children and young people in their care so they can provide the best support to them. Rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, New Routes offers ongoing support, mentoring and training to foster carers as well as holding social events for families.

New Routes welcomes enquiries from across the West Midlands area. To find out more, visit www.foster-carers.org.uk or call 01675 434033 to speak to a member of the team.

by Helen McCaroll,
Father Hudson’s Care