After hearing I was going to be out of action on the Fostering front for 6 weeks plus while recovering from my first knee replacement and another after that, I wondered – What on earth would I do? All those wasted hours. I remembered a friend had told me she was knitting blankets for a group.blanket 2

Hazel set up the group of knitters here in 2009, just up the road from me at Melbury Osmond. After she had returned from a holiday in South Africa- she could not forget what she had seen and heard.

On one tour she had asked – ‘’Why are all those girls carrying bundles of newspaper?’’  ‘’ That is not a bundle of newspaper.’’ She was told. ‘’It is their babies, (a lot have twins) ‘’that is all they have for them, they use it for nappies clothes and blankets.’’

Most are very young teenagers, some abused by family or raped, some live on the street as have been ostracised from their homes. So she decided to start knitting blankets this grew to family and friends and other little groups have formed. There is a lot of knitting to do as well as trying to raise funds to get blankets and layettes sent over to South Africa.

This hit my heart especially as I mostly do the Mum and Baby placements and see the opportunity they have over here. I asked could I knit some blankets and was welcomed with open arms, I am on blanket number 34 now!

I source a lot of wool on Ebay each blanket takes 300grams. I supply my Sister who is delighted to knit again. So we get through a lot of Double Knit. The Group use 4ply for the layettes.

I would like to ask would anyone with odd or new balls of Double knit or 4 ply would like to send it this way through your SSW or one of your local offices visit all donations would be welcome.

We do not knit in white as it is believed to bring bad luck.

If you would like to knit yourselves please do, there is a pattern available on the website-Knitters-scroll down for adobe download

The blankets are easy enough on old size 9. new size 3/75 needles cast on 140 stitches and garter stitch 360 rows. I do stripes however some do squares and stripes dividing the stitches and then knitting them together.

Thank you for your time in reading and if you can help an extra big thank you from Hazel and the Girls.

Shirley Cheeseman.

Capstone foster carer

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We’re really proud to be sponsoring a local football team from Plymouth, the under 13’s YMCA football team. We heard they needed funds for their kit and we were only too pleased to help. The team play in a local Devon under 13s league and have seen some great success, gaining two league promotions and winning a league cup all within the past 2 seasons! They are now competing in the Top Division, and they look the part in their new kits.

Area Manager, Gareth Griffiths said: “

We’re delighted to sponsor an under 13s local children’s football team.  We are always looking for opportunities to support local sports teams, charities and other good causes as we ourselves support children and young people through fostering.  It raises our profile locally as we hope to recruit foster carers in your area because there is a real shortage of foster carers across Devon and Cornwall.”

The team said: “Thanks so much for sponsoring us, Capstone. We know it’s going to be a challenging season for us, we’re trying to use all the experience we’ve gained so far, and be even more successful in the future, we’ll update you with our progress throughout the year”.

In the photo, Marketing Co-ordinator Karen Winser presents a cheque to the team of £350 to sponsor their kit.

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My husband and I have talked about fostering for many years. I am a qualified primary school teacher and have enjoyed working with children all my working life and we now have 2 children of our own too. We are just starting out on our fostering journey and are looking forward to our first placement. We feel we Meet Katie and Jonhave a lot to offer children who have not been as fortunate as our own, and we feel the time is right now as our own children are of an age that they can understand and embrace fostering with us.

We have only very recently completed our assessment process and are excited to now be officially registered foster carers. Capstone have been brilliant, from our initial enquiries and questions at the beginning, right through to going to panel last month. We also couldn’t have asked more of our allocated assessing social worker Tony. He was supportive and with his help the assessment process ran very smoothly and was not in any way as difficult as I’d anticipated it would be.

Since joining Capstone we have been made to feel extremely welcomed into the Capstone ‘family’. We have been invited to lots of events and groups, and the training we have done so far has been fantastic too. If you are considering fostering, I recommend you give Capstone a call as I know they will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

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