Gavin HoggGavin is one of our teachers based at our office in Oldham, he has an exciting update about a project called Letterbox that he’s been involved in.

What is Letterbox?

It’s a national scheme which provides books and other educational resources like stationery and maths games to looked after children between the ages of 5 and 13 (and a parcel for those from 3 – 5 will be piloted soon and hopefully available to all by 2017) . The young people get a parcel through the post every month from May to October. For many children these days, getting anything from the Royal Mail is a novelty – and the fact that the package contains quality age-related books that can be kept forever only adds to the excitement.

How have you been involved?

boy-with-blue-letterbox-parcelI’ve been fortunate enough to be invited down to London in 2014 and 2015 to help select the books for the following year’s parcels. The panel that choose the materials are made up from a range of people with different expertise and experience such as writers, carers and librarians. The thought that some months later, young people up and down the land will be opening the parcels with interest to see what’s been chosen for them is both exciting and a little scary. We want to make each month’s contents as appealing as possible and the discussions that take place about each book are always interesting. I’m looking forward to chairing the next meeting in October 2016.

How can foster carers sign up?


Many local authorities are already signed up to the scheme. Some have a policy of sending the parcels to all their LAC, whilst others will do so on an individual basis, often using a part of the young person’s Pupil Premium money to do so. Even if your child’s belonging authority don’t participate, it may be possible to make arrangements –  just contact Letterbox directly and they will be able to advise you. The current cost per year is £135 but the actual value of the books, the excitement and love of books it generates is much higher.

Foster carers and staff from Capstone Midlands gathered for a festive lunch and celebration of foster carers with an ‘Inspiration Award’ ceremony. They were joined by celebrity singer Kaz Hawkins who spoke and sang about her own experiences of the care system.

The event took place at the Hilton in Warwick, a central location for foster carers across the midlands region. Sara Chambers-Ross, Regional Director for the midlands, organised the event. She said:

“I wanted to organise something really special to the foster carers in the midlands. Each and every carer deserved to be acknowledged for what they do each day to change children’s lives. The Inspiration Awards went to a selection of carers for their outstanding service.”

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Awards were given out to carers by Richard Compton-Burnett, CEO of Capstone Foster Care, Sara Chambers-Ross, Regional Director for the Midlands region and special guest singer Kaz Hawkins. Foster carers were impressed by the celebration, and one added: “The talk by Kaz Hawkins was very touching. Her children were placed in foster care and she delivered a strong message, thanking foster carers like us, for looking after her children when she was unable to do so. It was really interesting to hear her perspective as that viewpoint isn’t often heard.”

The team in the midlands regularly host events and support groups for foster carers. If you are interested in joining us to find out more about fostering please contact us on 0121 374 2650.

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Margaret and Dave, Capstone Foster Carers from Barnsley received this message in a ‘thank you’ card from the girls they support.

People say being in care is a bad thing, but when you’re surrounded by such loving, kind and caring people like you, it is everything I could wish for in a family like yours. We have our bad and our good days, some worse than others, but we will always stick by each other, no matter what. All the family are all so supportive, and caring people. Through the months I have felt more and more like family. You have done so much for me and I couldn’t have been more grateful. One year is a long time and I couldn’t have wished to have spent it with another family. I hope I have done you proud in and out of school. No-one said our journey would be bad and no-one said it would be good. If you ask me it has turned out perfect. November 28th, the whole family welcomed me and S with open arms. That’s when a new chapter started in my life. Who needs real family when you have the best foster family going, who loves and cares more than anyone else. People say fairy tales don’t exist but I believe ours is only just starting. Happy 1 year anniversary.

Happy 1 year anniversary.

Love from V

(p.s Sorry it’s late!)

Thanks a Latte_Page_1

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