News from South West England

Find out how we are finding homes for children in South West England

Join us in saying goodbye to Maren, Read about the success of our summer fundraising campaign, Walk with Me, and be among the first to access our new Christmas resources!

Welcome to another update from the South West! We’re excited to share with you what we’ve been up to over the summer, and what we’re looking forward to in the months ahead.

First and foremost, we have some team news. Over the Summer, the lovely Maren stepped down from her role as Torbay Coordinator. We are so grateful for all that Maren has poured into inspiring churches across Torbay to consider what part they could play in finding homes for children through fostering, adoption or supported lodgings for teenagers. We send Maren on, with our love and prayers, as she seeks the Lord for His new and wonderful opportunities to serve.

Maren Hedermann

Home for Good will continue to resource and equip churches across the Torbay with Stu looking after relationships Maren has built, both with churches and Torbay Council.

September has seen the last few donations roll in from our summer fundraising campaign, Walk with me. On average, children in care are moved 18+ miles because there are not enough local carers. Every child and young person in care should be able to stay in their local area if it’s safe for them to do so. We’re working to find local homes for local children and teenagers so that no one is put in this position. This summer, we wanted to stand with them; we said we would walk with them. Amazingly, individuals, families, groups of friends and whole churches laced up their shoes and took to the streets, trails and mountains to demonstrate their commitment to children in care by walking, rolling, scooting – any kind of moving! – around 18 miles, raising vital funds for Home for Good in the process. At the time of writing this update, we’ve raised nearly £20,000 – isn’t that incredible! And we know of a few more who are still to take on their walk. We want to say an enormous THANK YOU to everyone who walked with us this summer, and to all who donated. Your support will make a huge difference for children in care.

Walk with me South West 1
Walk with me South West 2
Walk with me South West 3

At the start of August, the Home for Good team, dusted down their camping equipment and headed to Creation Fest, just outside Wadebridge. It was an excellent time, with 6000+ campers and day visitors attending this amazing event over the weekend. We hosted a picnic for fostering and adoptive families, some excellent seminars with Tarn Bright and our friend Nigel Langford from the Bible Society and we had an event stand, too. We are grateful to CreationFest for the opportunity to share our message from the mainstage with an amazing interview with a local foster carer. Stormy weather aside, the weekend was full of great conversations and connections, which we pray will develop into great homes for children who need them and the Church better supporting those who live out the realities of fostering or adoption within their families. Thanks to all of you who said hello and thanks also, to the amazing Volunteers who helped!

Creation Fest 1
Creation Fest 2
Creation Fest 3

In Bath and North East Somerset, Home for Good have welcomed three new Champions. They are all at pioneering and outward reaching Churches and Dave is excited to be working with them. Elsewhere, Stu has had some positive discussions with volunteers in Bristol about setting up a new peer support group in the city this autumn. We couldn’t do what we do without the support of our incredible Champions and Peer Support Volunteers. To find our more about volunteer opportunities at Home for Good, click here.

Also in Bath and North East Somerset, Dave met with the new head of service in BANES for a helpful meeting. The long-standing arrangement and relationship was celebrated and we talked about how we can more creatively work together in the future.

BANES Meeting

Our work in the area continues to grow as we continue to engage with local church communities; we’re so pleased to have recently welcome Welton Baptist Church into our network of Home for Good Churches. Dave spoke at Milton Baptist Church on the 10 September and was blown away by the stories of people who had experienced care and were foster carers themselves. Two ladies who had grown up in care talked about the importance of Home for Good and the message we carried and wished there was something like us when they were growing up to inspire the Church. They both encouraged Dave to keep up the good fight! We just love visiting churches, so if you would like a Home for Good speaker to visit your church, please visit our website and complete the Book a speaker form. If you’d like to find out more about what it means to be a Home for Good Church, you can read more here.

Milton 2
Milton 1
Milton 3

In Melksham, Stu attended a Food & River Festival, with the Wiltshire Fostering Team. The weather was roasting, some good connections were made and it was very positive, to be working alongside Wilts in such a practical way. As we continue to grow our presence in Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole, Stu hosted an online vision event for people in the area who were keen to learn more. Stu spoke about the work of Home for Good and the local authority’s current needs in the BCP area on the breakfast show of Hope FM in Bournemouth. You can listen to the interview at HopeFM Breakfast Show (The interview starts at 1hr 20mins 36secs).

Stu at Hope FM

Polzeath is a great place to surf in Cornwall and a very popular holiday destination in the summer. Stu was blessed to join the Tubestation for the bank holiday Sunday Service. Due to the weather being a bit crummy, everyone squeezed into the chapel for a lovely time of worship including an interview with some foster carers and the challenge to Make Room in our families and our church families. It was a great time and some interesting connections for the future were made, both for Cornwall and elsewhere in the UK we pray. A big thank you Sophie and team, for hosting us so well!

Tubestation Stu

Clare recently shared at St Michaels, Stoke Gifford, Bristol, at their regular Saturday breakfast. The attendance was very good, the food too, and with this wonderful opportunity to share, a few people made enquiries for supported lodgings , which is so encouraging.

As we look towards the Autumn, we have so much to look forward to! Dave is working with Life Church on the invitations and planning a dinner for foster carers in Bath, to be held in the coming months. We really appreciate the support of Life Church, in this exciting venture. A relaunch of our Peer Support Group in Midsomer Norton will be on 6 of October at 10.30am. This is for both foster carers and adopters. If you would like to find out more, contact Dave at [email protected]

Clare Walker will be speaking at Mullers Youth and Children’s Conference in north Bristol on the 23 September. Stu will be speaking at Brixham Methodist Church in Torbay on 8 October. Stu will also be joining Life Church, in Fishponds on 5 November, for their morning service at Avanti Gardens School, Fishponds, starting at 10.30am. And Home for Good will be at the Life in all it’s Fulness Conference at 10.30am on 14 October, at Salvation Army, Hassell Drive, Bristol.

While the summer may be drawing to a close, our resolve to secure better for children and young people remains strong. We know that this ‘back to school’ season can be really challenging for some children and young people with care experience; for some, it can be one of the hardest times of year. That’s why we’ve launched our Back-to-school fundraising campaign. With your support, we can find more foster carers, adoptive families and supported lodgings hosts – because it’s easier to go back to school when you know you’ve something stable to come home to. Donate today and invest in the lives of children and young people. Find out more here.

Back to School Appeal Banner

Finally, despite the recent heatwaves, Home for Good have started to put plans in place for this year’s Christmas resource package! We are so excited to share with you a brand new, free and flexible package of all-age resources for your church to enjoy this Christmas season. A promise of hope includes a brand new video, some inspiration for a talk or sermon, congregational prayers and activities for children and youth groups. The Christmas resource package will be released later in the Autumn, but you can sign up now to register your interest. As soon as the resources are available, you will immediately be sent a link to sign up to view and download them. Simply complete the form here.

A Promise of Hope - Register Interest Banner

What can I be praying for?

We would love you to stand with us in prayer as we continue to work to find a home for every child who needs one in the South West.

  • Please pray for great responses and enquiries as a result of the speaking engagements/events this autumn and for more opportunities for our South West Team to share.
  • Pray for more people to connect with one another and be inspired to foster, adopt and provide supported lodgings.
  • Pray for our growing support group network across the South West and for more volunteers to come forward to lead groups especially in north Devon and Plymouth
  • Please pray for prospective foster carers, adopters and supported lodgings hosts currently in assessment.

Check out our prayer resource, Let’s pray, for additional thoughts, inspiration and points to guide your prayers.

    Are there any events happening soon that I can attend?

    Head over to our South West England page to find out what is happening in the area and find all the local support groups.

    Take me there

    How do I get in touch with a member of the Home for Good team in South West England?

    Stu Dendy heads up Home for Good's work in South West England and he would love to hear from you! You can contact him through the link below.

    Email Stu

    Our local co-ordinators operate in Torbay (Maren) and Bath and North East Somerset (Dave). Send them an email though the links below.

    Email Maren

    Email Dave

    Date published:
    September 2023



    Useful links

    Walk with me

    Walk with me

    Your summer fundraising walking challenge to help find local homes for local children.

    Read more

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