A Hull FC Community Foundation project that looks after local children in the care system has been praised for the way it changes lives for the better.
In October last year, Hull FC’s Community Foundation teamed up with Hull Fostering to create a project that would give young children in the local care system the chance to take part in all kinds of fun activities designed to develop improved physical and mental wellbeing.
Fast forward to today, and this project is now what is known as ‘Brighter Futures’, supported by BBC Children In Need.
The three-year programme works with 60 youngsters in the care system, giving them the opportunity to gain the skills, confidence and knowledge to be the best version of themselves.
The formation of this project has come to fruition with the help of the team at Hull Fostering, whose Head of Marketing, Laura Gawthorpe, believes the sessions are a highlight of the participants’ week.
“The impact on our children since Hull FC Community began supporting Hull Fostering has been immeasurable,” she said.
“Our Friday Night Fostering Community Hub is something else altogether, this is the best two hours of my week and I know our foster carers and young people alike feel the same. Each Friday night our fostering community come together, we eat a hot meal, make crafts, bake, play games, sports, use the gym and watch films. Our foster carers call this Hub a ‘lifesaver’. Our young people treat the Hub as a youth club, whilst our carers laugh, talk and relax. It feels like a family gathering each week, which is simply wonderful.
“It cannot be underestimated how much these sessions are changing our young peoples and foster carers lives for the better. We have children and young people in our community who have sadly never been included in sporting activities, struggle to make friends and are often low in confidence. Since attending the Wednesday night sporting sessions, they are improving their sporting abilities, taking part in group activities which they have never previously been included in and meeting other young people in a similar situation.
“I could give you a hundred success stories since the Friday night hub was created earlier this year. We have young people who attend this session who typically struggle to regulate their emotions, lack confidence and tend to shy away from social situations, however look forward to Friday nights, because they can be themselves with no judgment.
“We have new foster carers and children who have just come into the care setting, where the Friday night hub is a wonderful introduction to what fostering is all about, normalises the idea of being in foster care and is a great opportunity to meet the rest of our fostering community.
“One young person recently said to me whilst at the community hub, she liked coming because there are more people ‘like her’. Until coming to our weekly hub she hadn’t realised there were more young people in foster care like her.
“I could not be prouder of this incredible partnership between Hull FC Community and Hull Fostering. These sessions really are improving our children’s lives for the better.”