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Fostering network turns one

The Hampshire Hive — a support network of local groups which effectively create an ‘extended family’ for foster carers and looked-after children in communities across Hampshire — has celebrated its first birthday.

Since launching, the pilot has grown to include 12 Hives around the county.

To recognise the success of the pilot, 120 foster carers, children and young people came together for ‘Hive Fest’, a celebratory afternoon of fun, food and games.

Councillor Roz Chadd, Hampshire County Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, went along to join in the celebrations and meet carers and their families.

She said: “Fostering can be challenging, and we understand just how invaluable peer-to-peer support can be. This event gave foster carers and their families the opportunity to come together to relax and have fun while celebrating the Hampshire Hive and each other. Our foster carers do incredible work and the sense of community at Hive Fest was palpable. We are always in need of more people to foster so I’d encourage those interested or considering fostering to get in touch as soon as possible.”

Led by Hive Carer Support Workers, who are foster carers themselves, individual local ‘Hives’ offer peer-to-peer support, advice and guidance to carers; as well as social events where carers and children across the community can all come together.

Held at a private venue in Winchester, ‘Hive Fest’ included music, picnics and activities, with every age catered for. Younger guests enjoyed biscuit decorating, colouring, soft play, face-painting and even paracord bracelet making.

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