News from Northern Ireland

Find out how we are finding homes for children in Northern Ireland

Roger Cooke and Tash McBride share updates, encouragements and prayer points related to Home for Good’s work across Northern Ireland.

NI Summit – a day full of hope

Our conference at the start of November seems to have been a huge success. Around 100 adults, with over 40 children and young people, joined together in Glengormley for a day of teaching, sharing and worship together. Given that this was the first such Summit since 2018, it felt like a significant moment of re-connection and recommitment.

One of the highlights of the day came from Alan and Caroline Wilson, who inspired and encouraged us with some reflections on the power of hope from Isaiah 40. We also heard from both newly approved and experienced foster carers and adopters, key leaders within children’s care services in Northern Ireland and Home for Good staff members. The thread of hope was clear throughout the day.

We’ve heard great things too from those who attended our children and youth programmes and we are immensely thankful to the teams from Emmanuel Church Lurgan and Big House Ireland for leading these programmes.

Celebrating the NI story

On the evening before our Summit, Roger and Tash were joined by Tarn Bright (CEO) and Ellie Tyers (Key Relationships Lead) for a special meal in Belfast. Over 20 guests joined us to celebrate the first ten years of Home for Good activity in Northern Ireland and to look ahead to the next ten years. Before Home for Good was established as a UK Charity (in 2024), there was a campaign that sought to inspire churches around fostering and adoption. This campaign was well received in Northern Ireland and generated a lot of interest from existing foster carers and adoptive parents, as well as some church leaders. The meal was an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to some of the individuals who have been part of this story of growth so far and to thank God his blessings.

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].

On the agenda - Getting your church involved

At Home for Good, we believe the Church could be – and should be – making a huge, transformative difference to the children’s care system in Northern Ireland and to the lives of children who need a place of safety, stability and belonging. We long to see more churches putting these issues on their agenda and stepping up to play their part. If you’re an individual who reads these updates and engages with Home for Good, but whose church isn’t yet involved, please get in touch. We’d love to work with you to help your church get informed and get involved.

Support groups

Home for Good’s network of support groups is growing in Northern Ireland. These groups are a huge source of mutual encouragement and care for those who foster, adopt or who are supported lodgings hosts. They are often a lifeline for families who are managing complex situations at home – it makes such a difference to meet with others who ‘get it’ and who are committed to praying for you and your children.

If you’d like to connect in with an existing support group in your area, or if you’d be keen to help start a group or join a new gathering, please do get in touch with either Tash or Roger.

Recent highlights

Roger and Tash were delighted to attend an event hosted by the Northern HSC Trust in Dunadry at the end of October. It was primarily a day of encouragement and inspiration for those within the Trust who work across children’s care. The event was entitled ‘Hear My Voice’ and it provided opportunities to hear first-hand from care-experienced children and from some of those who work with and care for children in care. It was a privilege to be in the room with over 250 people from the Trust teams.

Tash has been meeting with current and potential volunteers over recent weeks and we’re thankful for how many people are keen to play their part in this way. We hope to gather our volunteers together (online) in January for a chance to catch-up, encourage one another and pray together. If you are a volunteer, look out for that invitation soon.

It’s been great to speak at a number of churches and events over recent months, whether in Belfast, Portadown, Bangor or Waringstown. We love these opportunities to share, to inspire and to meet with people. Why not book a Home for Good speaker to come to your church service or event to share something of the vision and work of Home for Good and help you explore how you can play your part in helping find homes for children who need them?

Tash has also been co-hosting an online Foundations Course which runs during November and into December. These six-week courses provide an excellent insight into the world of fostering, adoption and supported lodgings. It’s a great course if you are keen to either explore fostering and adoption for yourself or because you are keen to support others more effectively.

What can I be praying for?

Please continue to pray with us as we work together to find and sustain a family home for every child who needs one in Northern Ireland. 

  • Give thanks for the NI Summit and the celebration meal. Pray that God would nurture seeds that were planted and that the connections and conversations from the Summit weekend would continue to bear fruit.
  • Pray that lots of churches across Northern Ireland will sign-up to use the Christmas Resource and that the material will be a source of significant inspiration and encouragement.
  • Pray for more opportunities for Roger, Tasha and others to connect with churches and to share the vision of Home for Good.
  • Give thanks for the support groups that meet throughout Northern Ireland – pray that God would guide and bless these groups and that they would be a source of genuine care and support. Pray that new groups would emerge and develop over the coming year.

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?

Hope Full – Northern Ireland Summit [Saturday 4 November]

Take me there

How do I get in touch with a member of the Home for Good team in Northern Ireland?

Tasha or Roger would love to hear from you. You can email them via the links below:

Tasha McBride – NI Coordinator

Roger Cooke – NI & Nations Lead

Date published:
December 2023



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