2022 – A Year of Memories

As 2022 comes to an end, we wanted to take this time to look back on the many highs that the year had to offer.

Our Fostering service got Fair Ways off to a great start, by receiving an Outstanding Rating from Ofsted. This rating was the result of years of hard work by our dedicated team, as we provide the best quality of care and support to children in fostering and their respective carers. We are continually looking for new Foster Carers to join Fair Ways, and this rating underlines the great work the team are doing.

We launched the 2022 Fair Ways Future Leaders Programme for 20 staff.  This programme had been suspended since 2019, so this was an opportunity to build a network of future leaders identified from around the organisation for the first time in three years.

Future Leaders Programme 2022 ran throughout the year, with the programme drawing to a close in early winter.

Fair Ways successfully completed the purchase of School Camp Ltd and re-launched this as Fair Ways Outdoor Adventures; an exciting new activities service based in Wales.  

Fair Ways Outdoor Adventures provides team building and adventurous learning opportunities to schools and other organisations across the UK. The service is fully equipped and licenced with experienced activity instructors. 

Profits from external work are reinvested back into Fair Ways to provide fantastic opportunities for outdoor learning, activities, and Duke of Edinburgh qualifications to the young people within our care across all services and especially our Fostering service.  

The new service provides an exceptional new venue for existing Leadership Courses and team-building days for our staff.  

Fair Ways’ Managing Director, Gareth Webb was announced as the winner of the Leadership Award at the 2022 UK Company Culture Awards.

Fair Ways were also shortlisted for both Best Employee Development Programme of the Year for our RiiSE programme. The competition for the awards was very fierce with Fair Ways standing out through the way we dealt with adversity and supported staff and service users throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fair Ways School received a ‘Good’ Ofsted rating at Fair Ways School in Swanwick and Fareham, following an inspection undertaken in March 2022.

We have seen many young people make progress in academic subjects and personal developments that they themselves doubted their ability to do so. We have also seen staff and parents/carers support students in keeping their enthusiasm and love for schooling during the global pandemic spanning nearly 2 years.

We announced the closure of Paddington Grove in Bournemouth. Over the past 13 years, Paddington has provided a loving home to 14 young people, and the following are noted in particular:

  • LW – was our first resident. In fact, Paddington was opened for him as a solo placement.
  • JC – arrived in Paddington through our care pathway from our Wales Crisis centre. Today she is in a settled family environment and is a proud parent of her own child.
  • MP – arrived in Paddington following an Adoption breakdown. Again, has successfully transitioned on our care pathway and is now successfully placed with a Fair Ways foster carer.
  • AL – As one of our more recent YPs, many staff will know him. Again, he is also now successfully transitioned to a foster placement.

In addition:

  • Paddington was the proud recipient of an ‘Outstanding’ rated Ofsted report in July 2016.
  • And the overall winners of Fair Ways in Bloom (2020) with the most innovative design and sustainable garden seen to date.

A huge thank you to the Paddington team.

Fair Ways were announced as one of eight official care providers across the UK, working with the Department of Education (DFE) to provide Staying Close services.

This news followed a successful 3-year pilot scheme, looking to optimise the transition of young people from full-time residential care at 16 years of age into supported living. Young people face a ‘cliff edge’, leaving full-time care at 18 years-old, ill-equipped to deal with challenges and without access to previous professional support levels. This has resulted in years of negative outcomes across the UK.

There were two memories we hold closely from August, with the inaugural BBQ from Garden House children’s home near Wickham. This had been delayed for almost two years due to Covid. All key stakeholders, residents and former residents were invited and it was a truly great day for everyone!

The second of our two memories was the last-minute collaboration between departments to retrieve a passport from London for a young person in fostering which enabled them to join their family holiday.

With three days to go until their dream family holiday, we received a panic call from a foster carer as one of the children’s passports still had not arrived. (The passport application process for a looked-after child is more complex and usually a lengthier process).

As you can imagine the young teen was extremely sad and anxious that he wouldn’t be able to go away with his foster family and the foster carers said they didn’t want to go at all if he couldn’t come with them.

Not all foster children get the chance to go on holiday, let alone on a dream cruise so we knew we had to do something to help….

With a lot of teamwork and last-minute phone calls and emails, we finally tracked the passport to London. Securing the correct permissions, we dashed to London on Thursday afternoon, arriving with 30 minutes to spare, secured the passport, and dashed back to Portsmouth, ready for the family to leave on Friday morning.

This month saw the return of the annual Fair Ways Conference, held across four days; three in Portsmouth, and a fourth in Wales.

2022 was the first chance for most of our teams to mix, meet in person again and reconnect with each other. The theme of the conference was ‘Reconnection’ and that’s exactly what it was. We invited our first-ever guest speaker to present on the day(s) with the brilliant Chris Wild reminding our teams of the brilliant work that can be done in care, why we do what we do, and how much further there is to go to ensure children in care are given the same chances, experiences and opportunities that others are.

Fair Ways Foster Carer wins the ‘Foster Carer of the Year’ Award at The National Children & Young People Awards.

Charlie and her late husband Paul have been fostering for 16 years. During this time, they also inspired their son and partner to foster with Fair Ways. They have opened their home to many children, offering long-term and Staying Put placements, as well as respite and emergency arrangements.

Fair Ways were incredibly thrilled and honoured to announce that Levi, age 8 and Zac, age 5 have won the ‘Outstanding Contribution by Sons and Daughters’ Award at the 2022 Fostering Excellence Awards, held by The Fostering Network.

The award celebrates children and young people under 18 who go over and above in the support of their families and foster siblings.

Levi and Zac’s family started their fostering journey with Fair Ways back in 2015, and over the last 7 years, the boys have mainly welcomed unaccompanied asylum-seeking children into their home. At such young ages, the boys have opened their home and hearts to several children and young people from a multitude of different cultures and backgrounds. In addition to this wonderful news, our team at Garden House children’s home also received their first Ofsted inspection following their opening in 2019. This inspection was hugely impressive, receiving an Outstanding rating at their first attempt.

Each of our services took part in the annual Fair Ways Christmas Advent Calendar which featured on various social and video streaming platforms throughout December. The advent calendar campaign is designed to enable children, service users, families and staff to engage in an enjoyable video challenge, whilst sharing a little about their department with the rest of the charity and the outside world.

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