Olive Branch's October Highlights
06 November 2023
06 November 2023
At Olive Branch, it’s always been important for us to work closely with our foster families to give children and young people in our care new experiences. Throughout October, our Children and Young People Engagement Officers, Leonie, Sarah and Zara, arranged activities for all foster and birth children to enjoy. The Olive Branch family enjoyed a variety of different trips through October, here’s some of our highlights…
Pumpkin picking is not only a good way to get into the Halloween spirit, but it also allows young people to explore and connect with nature. After picking their pumpkins, they each used their creativity to carve them into a spooky Halloween design.
The team also arranged a day at Little Lancashire Village for the younger children at Olive Branch. This is based inside an old Corn Mill in the centre of Rawtenstall and has a variety of shops and career costumes to help inspire children to get into character, engage with other children and learn to socialise. One of our young people also came along to do some work experience with younger children. She’s in year 11 and wants to go into childcare at college next year, so spending the day at Little Lancashire Village was a great learning curve for her.
We pride ourselves on our family feel and encourage our foster families to attend activities and events, all designed to help build connection across the Olive Branch community. These events offer time to socialise and engage with others.
Having a good support system is key. While our foster families do have 24/7 support from their social workers, they also have each other. Our monthly Carer Connect meetups ensure this. In October, our Blackpool Carer Connect meetup had the best turnout yet! A number of our foster families from Blackpool turned up for a coffee, a chat, and an unlimited breakfast buffet.
These coffee mornings are organised by Chrissy, Olive Branch’s Carer Connect Lead. We asked her about the importance of Carer Connect meetups. “I think it’s great that our foster carers can get together and form strong, local networks. They support each other and provide respite for each other. The hubs are a great, regular, local social event. It’s all about having someone to talk to,” said Chrissy.
Later in October Leonie, our Family Support Worker, also took one of our young people prom dress shopping. She said: “My dream has always been to be a princess for the day, and I felt like a princess in all the dresses! It was like ‘Say Yes to The Dress’ with my own personal assistant to help!”
In total she tried on 10 beautiful dresses and loved the full prom dress experience! We were made aware that this young person has been having a difficult time at school, so it was important for us to give her something positive to focus on. Her prom is in July and she’s so excited now she has the perfect dress. Leonie said: “I enjoyed the experience as much as the young person as it was amazing seeing her smile every time she walked out the changing room in a different dress!”
Finally, October ended in style with our spooooky Halloween Party…
It was full of arts, crafts, music, dancing, and spooky snacks! It was the perfect end to a brilliantly busy month. Leonie said: “Such a heart-warming and fufilling half term for all involved. It’s been amazing to see all the smiles and giggles we’ve had. I love how these events and activities bring our family feel to life.”
06 November 2023