Going on holiday with Team Fostering

Going on holiday with Team Fostering

11 July 2024

It’s that time of year where the school summer holidays are creeping up faster than you can say ‘hold my ice-cream’.

For many families it conjures up memories of long sunny days (ok, it’s the UK so maybe less of the sunny), holidays at the beach, amusement arcades and more sweets than you can shake a stick at. 

But that’s not the case for all children. Some coming to Team Fostering will have no or limited experience of the joys of a family holiday.

That’s why - as part of our not-for-profit status - Team Fostering invests money into taking carers and children away on a Team holiday each year. Not only giving children an opportunity to experience new things but giving carers the chance to come together for support too.  

Earlier this year we headed off to Filey with the Yorkshire and East Midlands Team whilst those in the North East region went to Flamingo Land – enjoying four nights of fun with a combination of organised activities and free time. 

Although the weather might have been a bit of a wash out, the experiences certainly weren’t, creating memories to last a lifetime.

We caught up with foster carers Sue, John, and Wayne – all of whom are fairly new members of the Team Fostering family – to see what the holiday was like for them.


First impressions count


“It couldn’t have been timed better for boosting her confidence”, begins 58-year-old John from Mansfield, introducing us to the story of S who’s been with him and his wife Sue since March.

“She’s got no friends round here, she only moved schools last Thursday to this area so we were unsure how she’d interact. She was nervous but she was excited at the same time.”

Despite her nervousness, the itinerary of activities put together in Filey by the Yorkshire and East Midlands team allowed her to get to know other children in a more relaxed environment.

John said: “As soon as we got there, she were buzzing. Accommodation was absolutely fantastic, but what made it was the itinerary of activities which helped her get interacting with others and that were vital.”


A unique opportunity with Team Fostering


“It was really good,” adds 43-year-old Wayne from Middlesbrough, who along with partner Shaun, has been caring for three boys aged 13,14, and 16-years-old for the past six years, but only recently moved to Team Fostering six months ago.

Wayne said: “I think it’s just an example of how Team go above and beyond to make sure that the kids have got lots of different opportunities.

“A big factor in our decision making for moving to Team Fostering was it’s a not-for-profit company. I know that within Team money is being invested in things for the kids such as the trips to Flamingo Land or the activities in the summer holidays.”


Trying new things


The new opportunities offered to S, alongside other children, gave her the confidence to try things she’d previously been scared of – taking to them like a duck to water.

John explains: “We’d recognised that wherever there was water she wanted us both there. As it turned out she had a fear of water. But when she’d seen and started saying hello to people she was willing to give the pedalos a go and once we were on the pedalos that was it.

“All the way through the activities were absolutely brilliant for her.”

For Wayne, it was all about making up for lost opportunities.

He said: “None of our kids had been on holiday before they came to live with us. So it’s making up for times in their life where they haven’t had those opportunities.

“A lot of the kids who come into foster care look around at their peers and they think well they’re doing that, I’m not doing that. So it’s a way for them to be reassured that you can have these opportunities.

“In terms of their self-esteem it’s not only, I’ve been included in something but I’m special enough to have been included in this opportunity.”


Building confidence


“We noticed a difference in S’s confidence as the week went on, without a shadow of a doubt”, John said, “and others did as well because she was interacting with others.”

“We thought she wasn’t going to be leaving our side, then she went with a group of people twice to go down to the arcades at tea time and round the site on a scooter that she’d borrowed. It’s most definitely brought her out big time.”

Wayne said: “On the second day Team Fostering had a little meet up planned where the kids were together and could become familiar with each other, because a lot of them were quite anxious about meeting new people. So doing it in that way was really good.”


A support network of other foster carers


Alongside the benefits the children took from the holiday, John, Sue and Wayne were grateful for the support network created by Team Fostering and other foster carers.

John said: “We’ve got to know a few more of the foster carers because this is a new journey for us and we’ve kept in touch.

“It's not a getaway that Team set up and just let you get on with it. It fills us with confidence that Team fostering staff are there, they’re on hand, they make themselves very visual. So if we ever had bumped into an issue we’d know that they’d be there to assist us along the way.”

For Wayne, who was there on his own due to Shaun not being able to take the time off work, the support network was even more important.

He said: “Because I was there on my own, knowing there were other people around, so if there was an emergency or something like that was good.

“It’s slightly different for me as a foster carer and the things I need to do. Just having that reassurance that if I’ve got a difficult situation there’s other people on hand who would be willing and know how best to help me.”


Until next time….


At the end of the holiday, with happy memories banked it was home time for our families.

For Wayne’s children, it was the perfect introduction to the activities and support programme at Team Fostering and they’re already continuing to make the most of what’s on offer.

He said: “It was difficult for ours because it was the first time they’ve met any of these kids. But obviously Team do lots of other activities so two of them have already been to Teamies and they’ve got activities over the summer.

“The more familiar they get with these other kids the more likely when we go next year they’ll interact a bit more.”

John said: “When we got in the car to go home S were a bit down, then cried probably two thirds of the way home. She didn’t want to leave.

“It’s an amazing experience and we know that we’ve picked the right fostering company.”


The Team holiday is just one aspect of a whole programme of support and activities which is on offer for carers and children at Team Fostering. You can find out about all the other activities here