Young people in foster care receiving opportunities to make memories for a lifetime

Council News
09:56, Thursday, 13th June 2024

Making memories and providing experiences was the order of the day, during a work experience session for young people in foster care recently, at the Hampton by Hilton at Humberside Airport.

A behind the scenes tour, breakfast of champions and meeting a pilot, before working in the kitchens, restaurant and within the sales and marketing team to produce towel art and posters for guests staying that evening, is what built the agenda.

This opportunity was a collaboration between the fostering team at North Lincolnshire Council and Sales Manager, Samantha Cook from the Hampton by Hilton. The day was organised to offer new experiences to some of our children in North Lincolnshire who may have never visited a hotel or airport before. It was also an opportunity for the young people to learn about how a hotel works, the types of roles available and how they could aspire to one day work at a Hilton hotel.

Samantha Cook, Sales Manager of the Hampton by Hilton, said: “I was honoured to work with the fostering team and put on an experience day for the young people.

“It started from an initial conversation months ago, as I had a real passion to want to support our young people in knowing they could achieve anything possible.

“As employers in the community, I feel we have a responsibility to ensure every child has an opportunity to shine and realise their potential and learn about the varying roles and industries they could work in.

“It was the highlight of my month, having them. I absolutely loved it, and the elephant towel art was the best I have ever seen. I look forward to putting on more like this together in the future.”

This day came after two other experiences for some of our young people recently during Foster Care Fortnight. They included an evening at Humberside Fire & Rescue in Scunthorpe with the Fire Cadets and a PAT Therapy evening with a black labrador, Winnie.

Fire Cadets hosted a session including a tour of the station, hose drills in fire kit and got to learn about the workings of a station – further raising aspirations of another avenue that could be explored in the working world.

The PAT Therapy evening was a chance for our young people to spend time with Winnie, learning more about dog behaviours and how being around dogs can aid with mindfulness and relaxation.

Our fostering friendly community are working together with the fostering team to put on these experiences; providing opportunities which some children may not have been a part of otherwise – making memories to last a lifetime.

Fostering these memories has been alongside the #FosteringMoments theme of the recent Foster Care Fortnight campaign in May.

During this annual campaign, in conjunction with The Fostering Network, the fostering team hosted a variety of events including a Twilight Walk and a Parkrun takeover to raise the profile of fostering and how foster care transforms lives.

Messingham Primary School took part in a ‘Fostering Moments’ Day whereby the fostering team attended their school, and each pupil designed their own moment on a hanging wooden disc – showcasing themes of kindness, empathy and courage which have been placed around their school in the woodland area. The afternoon was a chance to start to educate the next generation about fostering and how everyone should always think of others and what they might be experiencing.

This day was organised with Mrs Q’s Private Tuition and Careers who is a champion of fostering in the community and passionate about aiding and developing the next generation.

Mel Quickenden of Mrs Q’s Private Tuition and Careers, said: “I feel incredibly proud to be a fostering friendly member and for me it should be a natural addition for every local business to get on board.

“Supporting and championing all our children is vital but spending a little more time with some of the most vulnerable children in our community is something to be cherished and something which I would encourage every employer, business, or organisation to be a part of no matter how big or small your involvement.”

The Year six pupils at The Winterton Federation also participated in a foster walk with the fostering team to further raise awareness and create moments.

During the fortnight and beyond, the whole community of North Lincolnshire has supported, shared, and celebrated fostering moments – those that define fostering journeys, big and small and those moments that build confidence in our next generation.

To find out more about fostering in North Lincolnshire and the fostering friendly scheme for employers which supports and champions fostering, visit the fostering webpage, email fostering@northlincs.gov.uk or call 01724 297024.