News from London and South East England

Find out how we are finding homes for children in London and South East England

In October, we welcomed Victoria Perry to the team as our new London Coordinator. Victoria will be connecting with – and developing – the network of Home for Good volunteers and churches in London as part of a new approach to our presence and work across the city. As Victoria explains below, this approach involves an exciting new collaboration with Safe Families for our shared work of church engagement in London. As South-East Lead, Billy-Jo O’Leary will continue to shape and lead Home for Good’s work across the South-East region outside of London.

In this update, Victoria introduces herself and Billy-Jo shares updates, encouragements and prayer requests.


A promise of hope

Are we allowed to start talking about Christmas yet?

Maybe you’re one of those people who can’t bear to think about carols and Christmas trees before the beginning of December – at least. Or maybe you’ve had ideas for your church’s Christmas activities buzzing around your head since July.

Here at Home for Good, we’d place ourselves somewhere in the middle; for the past few months, we’ve been dreaming up and creating a brand new, all-age Christmas resource for this year.

We’re delighted to tell you that our Christmas resources are ready – and we’d love to offer them to you as a gift.

Receive our Christmas resources

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. We would love to invite you to use some or all of the package this Christmas in your carol service, Christmas morning service or at another occasion in the lead-up to Christmas. You can sign up now to view and download them using our short and simple form.

We hope that the video, prayers, ideas and activities included will be a blessing, offering a new way for your church family to engage with the Christmas story and be inspired to respond – to bring a thrill, a glimmer, a promise of hope to someone who needs it.

The resource pack is totally free; a gift from us to your church community. But we can only continue inspiring and equipping churches with the support of amazing people like you. Could you consider ‘paying it forward’ and taking a special collection this Christmas so that more churches can receive our resources for free and help to find more safe, stable and loving homes for children who need them? If you’d like to chat more about this, you can chat to our fundraising team directly about a Christmas offering at [email protected].


London

Hello! I'm Victoria Perry. I'm delighted to hold the role as the new London Coordinator at Home for Good. I'm excited to be connecting with churches and leaders across London to inspire the church and individuals with our vision of finding a home for every child who needs one. Part of my role involves a partnership with another Christian organisation, Safe Families. Together, we will be working across specific boroughs and engaging churches to inspire a continuum of care for children, young people, and their families. We're hopeful that the synergy of our visions will be impactful to supporting children who need support and care across London.

Seven weeks into my role and here are a few things I've been busy with:

  • Attending an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) meeting in Westminster alongside Home for Good’s advocacy team.
  • Supporting the organisation of a Black Adoption Event at Hackney Town Hall for National Adoption Week.
  • Attending a Global Leadership Summit in East London to share all we do at Home for Good.
  • Sharing the work of Home for Good at an Adoption and Fostering evening at Jubilee Church in Enfield.

South-East

Billy-Jo writes…

It is a pleasure to lead Home for Good’s work across the South-East region as we widen our reach and grow the impact. I am always humbled and can see God at work, whether I am engaging with Local Authorities and they are seeing the incredible work of the church, or sending out thank you emails to those who have donated to Home for Good, or being in spaces where I can pray for families who have opened their home or connecting with support groups.

There are so many opportunities to create warm and welcoming spaces for families and for children with care experience. Our work is not done we need to find more homes as the need grows. This will require all of us to find out what part we can play. So, if you don’t already, please consider joining-in by praying, giving and using our resources.

I would especially love to talk to anyone who is interested in volunteer opportunities with Home for Good. Our work is growing and we need to build a bigger team to help raise awareness and to find homes. If you have a few hours a month and would like to exploring volunteering, I would love to here from you. Or if you have cared for children and experience and can come alongside others to support the family care and enquires team, do please get in touch.


Recent highlights from our work in West Sussex

  • It’s been encouraging to see the Horsham support group developing. They recently had their first in-person party for fostering, adoption and supported lodgings families and they are planning another party for March 2024.
  • One of our champions has been working with Billy-Jo to draft an invite for speaking engagements at the end of 2023 and into 2024.
  • Another champion has recently represented Home for Good at two events in West Sussex, with a pop-up banner and some literature.
  • St Mary’s has chosen Home for Good as their charity of the month for December and for Christmas giving

Other activity and highlights

  • Billy-Jo and 19 others completed their Walk With Me challenge at the end of September, walking 18 miles to raise funds for Home for Good and to raise awareness of the experiences of children in care who are often moved far away from what and who they know.
  • Overseeing and supporting the development of the independent fostering community in Sussex. More about this in what’s coming up. Get in touch if you would like more information.
  • Billy-Jo was joined by a Champion for a speaking engagement at Connect Church Maidstone – and loved being there! November attend Jubilee + conference in Brighton and Hove Great time lots of good conversations and chance to pray for families.
  • Earlier this month, Billy-Jo attended the Jubilee + conference in Brighton and Hove. It was a great time, with lots of good conversations and opportunities to pray for families.
  • Billy-Jo met with Bishop Simon and the archdeacon of Rochester Diocese to think about the diocesan activity alongside Home for Good in 2024.
  • It’s been great to see more champions and peer support volunteers joining our growing network of South-East volunteers in recent months. They have been doing some online training as part of their induction process.
  • North Hampshire support group have hosted a bring and share lunch.

 What’s coming up?

  • Speaking engagement at Redeemer church on 14 January, with Champions coming to support. Do come along if you want to know more about what we are doing or to where you might volunteer across West Sussex.
  • Support groups activity, including the Kent WhatsApp group, who are planning to meet up in person, the development and growth of the Farnham support group and some further gatherings with the Horsham group.
  • Visit to Jacobs Cottage in Sussex – a planned fostering community. Jacobs is looking for a fulltime foster carer to come and help grow a fostering community and support the owners to foster large sibling groups. Do contact Billy-Jo if you’d like to find out more.
  • One of Champions in West Sussex is connecting with churches to offer speaking engagements.
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 London and the South East.

  • Give thanks for the Home for Good champions and peer support volunteers who are helping to inspire and support churches and individuals across the South-East region. Pray that more volunteers will step up to play their part.
  • Give thanks for recent opportunities to share Home for Good’s vision through speaking engagements at churches. Pray that God would continue to nurture seeds that have been planted and pray for more opportunities to speak and share.
  • Pray that more individuals and couples would be inspired to explore fostering, adoption and supported lodgings and that more churches would catch the vision for playing their part.
  • Pray for Billy-Jo as she leads the work across the South-East. Pray that God would guide and direct her in this work and that she would be a source of blessing and inspiration to many people.

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 London and South East England page to find out what is happening in the area and find all the local support groups.

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

Billy-Jo O'Leary heads up Home for Good's work in the South East of England and she would love to hear from you! You can contact her through the button below.

Email Billy-Jo

Victoria Perry - London Coordinator

Email Victoria

Date published:
December 2023


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