Generous support from local businesses this festive season has enabled Torbay Children’s Services to offer free of charge activities to Torbay foster families.

Earlier this year, Ofsted inspectors rated Torbay Children’s Services as ‘Good’ after years of underperforming. Part of the Ofsted report  recognised the importance free enrichment activities played in the wellbeing of cared for children and how this enhanced their peer relationships.   

These enrichment activities are made possible by partnering with local businesses such as Torquay United Football Club, Dartmouth Steam Railway, Splashdown Water Park, Torquay Big Wheel and Paignton Zoo, Babacombe Theatre, The Palace Theatre and The Princess Theatre.    

In November, 780 Torbay fostering parents, carers, children, young people and Special Guardian families, were “all aboard” the Dartmouth Steam Railway Christmas Train of Lights and enjoyed a magical evening of festive storytelling and enchanting light displays. Due to popular demand again this year, the steam train made two journeys, setting off from Paignton Steam Railway, travelling to Kingswear and back again.

Torbay fostering families have also been creating special memories at Torquay United during the festive period with behind-the-scenes tours, meeting the players and even a visit from Santa followed by a disco. 

Due to covid precautions last year, organised festive theatre trips had to be put on hold. However,  this year fostering families have been able to access free tickets to the I Love Christmas show at Babacombe Theatre, and the pantomime shows at The Palace Theatre and Princess Theatre.

This spirit of generosity extends into the new year as the Torbay Fostering Team were thrilled to receive the news that Paignton Zoo will be continuing to renew their free annual passes for fostering families for 2023.

Cllr Cordelia Law, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services said, “Generosity of spirit has shone across our community with such wonderful support from our corporate partners this festive season. We would like to say a huge thank you to all the local businesses who have helped to make this Christmas extra special for some of the most vulnerable children in Torbay.

“We know that ultimately, the real magic lies in the strengthened and meaningful relationships that children are building with foster carers, developing trust, creating happy memories and building hopeful futures. As we head into the new year, we remain committed to our Corporate Parenting role and keeping children and families at the centre of all that we do in Torbay.”

Torbay Children’s Services are still currently looking for a wide range of new foster carers to care for local, vulnerable children who are unable to live with their birth families. Torbay foster carers are financially supported with an allowance to meet the needs of the foster child and receive training and ongoing support from a dedicated fostering Social Worker and an experienced foster carer as a mentor.  

This is the perfect time to make a positive life change with child fostering if you are considering a new work/life balance. If you have flexible working hours, a spare room, and a kind heart, you could become Torbay foster carer. If you would like to find out more please get in touch with Torbay Children’s Services. Telephone: 01803 207845 Email:  


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