Every summer, we offer every child in every Affinity household a pot of gold that they can use for an activity or event of their choice. The money is offered to birth children as well as children and young people who are fostered.
“The Pot of Gold is a much-loved offering,” says Vicky, Participation Team Manager at Affinity Fostering. “The children and young people love it because they get to decide what activity they want to spend the money on. It gives them a sense of being valued and heard. It also enables us to recognise the amazing contribution the children of our foster carers make. And it goes a long way to making things easier for foster carers during the long summer break.”
This year, due to the increased cost of living, Affinity offered our children an increased amount of £120 each. What a take-up we had! 123 children took advantage of the offering to take part in an activity of their choice.
So how did our children and young people splash the cash?
The participation team always checks in on the children towards the end of the summer to see what they’ve done over the break and to find out which activity they opted to spend their money on.
“For us, this is the lovely bit,” says Vicky. “It’s so nice to know that we’ve given children happy memories to treasure and made their summer wishes come true!”
This year’s chosen activities ranged from long held desires to see a musical to footballing summer camps. From trips to the zoo to theme park annual passes. From holiday fun in the Lake District to a pool for the garden. From roller boots to a yoga kit, Centre Parks to Duxford. One child used the money to get their very first bike, and another to purchase a comprehensive art kit.
Of course, we can wax lyrical about the Pot Of Gold and what a difference it makes to children and young people but actually they say it so much better themselves.
“I think that it is very good as it allows me to do an activity that I may not have been able to do before.”
“I enjoy pot of gold and always do something fun with my money. We usually use it for a day trip!”
“I think it's good and appreciate this opportunity.”
“I love it and really appreciate receiving pot of gold as it allows us to have a fun days out! We sometimes combine our money so we can do a really fun activity altogether.”
“I like it! Last year I swam with dolphins on holiday but this year I went to a indoor flying centre.”
Speaking to the children and carers about the activities, days out or kit that they chose, it’s evident that this gift is really about so much more for the children. The Pot Of Gold clearly communicates to them that they are worthy of investment. This gift shows them that the things they are interested in, the things they are good at are important. They give the children an opportunity to try new things and build confidence and self-esteem.
And that is absolutely priceless.
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