Earlier this year, Fair Ways Participation team took inspiration from an existing annual project founded by the poet Lemn Sissay MBE, for communities to provide a Christmas Day for care leavers aged between 18 and 25 and developed our own plan.
With the help of a brilliant steering group that met regularly to plan the day, including service users and staff – staff from across our services agreed to volunteer their time on Christmas Day to help make it a Christmas Day our service users would not forget! After looking at a few venues, it became clear that Fair Ways Hub in Fareham would be most suitable as it is a location most of our service users have visited before and would provide an environment that we could transform and use as we saw fit.
Fair Ways secured a Local Impact Grant from Asda for £1,000 in November and were invited to pick up a giant cheque in their Southampton store in early December! Our Participation Apprentice viewed this as the perfect opportunity to put the Fair Ways house on and walk around Southampton for an hour or so! This additional funding will allow Fair Ways to go even further in making this a Christmas to remember for everyone who attends.
We would like to thank Asda for our grant and we have even bought a real, 16ft tree that’s on display outside The Hub (a big thank you to Keydell Nurseries). We appreciate everyone’s involvement in the project so far and hope to develop this into an even bigger event next year, with more service users, care leavers and continue to create an environment where everyone feels welcome and excited to attend.