The sun shone for Diagrama’s first summer picnic this year for adopted and fostered children in the South of England.
Children at the annual event in Winchester met old and new friends, had fun on the bouncy slide, enjoyed face painting and played football.
The annual picnics are a vital source of support for both children and adults. Parents can tap into strong informal support gaining encouragement from others in the same situation and celebrating their family life. Sharing experiences and trading parenting tips is invaluable. Most importantly the children make friends who are also adopted or fostered and this has a really positive impact on their confidence and resilience.
There is an opportunity to chat to Diagrama social workers, to share news of family life, talk through any concerns, learn about support and training opportunities coming up and to hear how Diagrama Foundation is growing and developing. It also helps Diagrama’s team to understand more from families about what they need and how services can be improved.
Diagrama social worker Mary Cody said: “It was a real success. It was lovely to hear parents and carers sharing how all the children are growing up - the challenges and the joys. We heard how 7-year-old Maisie explained adoption to her class telling them she ‘had a difficult start but she had great parents now’.
"One mum commented how welcoming the children were of newcomers greeting her son with ‘hey boy in the red football shirt come and play’ and her somewhat shy 8-year-old was soon off to join in.”
Parents also connected with friends from early days on their road to adoption and met new faces. They took the opportunity to check in with Diagrama’s social workers, with another mum discussing how she was starting to talk to her three-year-old about being adopted, gaining reassurance that she was doing a great job and being offered tips around age appropriate books that could help.
Families connected over interests beyond adoption and an adoptive dad - also self-proclaimed as one of the world’s greatest Dr Who experts - met a nine-year-old who was also a fountain of knowledge when it comes to The Doctor.
Mary added: “Feedback on the day was so positive with families checking out details of our future meet ups. There were lots of tired, happy little people going home.”
Many thanks to everyone at Level 10 Church in Winchester who stepped in on the day to provide an excellent and very sociable venue after a double booking occurred.