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Sam arranges extra special Christmas party for foster families

December 10, 2019 09:40 AM

When the wonderful team from Anglesey Foster Care Association got in touch with our Llangefni store's community champion Sam Broadley they were hoping for a raffle prize for an awards evening ... and ended up being treated to an extra special Christmas party.

The group couldn't afford to hold a festive event after hosting their awards evening in September, so Sam secured a donation from the Asda Foundation to pay for a party for a group of 30 children, their parents and carers, as well as arranging for a storyteller to put on a show for the younger children, organising food and drink, treats for the children and a visit from Santa.

This Christmas the Asda Foundation is spreading festive magic by organising extra special surprises for groups like this.

Barbara Jones, chair of the Anglesey Foster Care Association, says it was a magical experience.

She said:" Sam at the Llangefni store has been brilliant. We would not have had a Christmas party at all if it wasn't for Asda. Their help has been amazing we can't thank them enough.

"I first contacted Sam in the summer and asked if Asda could donate a raffle prize for our Star Awards event, which we hold every two years. Children in care often have low morale and low self esteem, but these awards give them a bit of a boost.

"Sam generously agreed, and then asked if we were having a Christmas party. I said we weren't as we couldn't afford it and Sam said she would see what she could do.

"We were lucky enough to get a £500 grant from the Asda Foundation for the party and then I got a call out of the blue saying they were going to take our party to the next level! I was literally bursting with excitement."

The group usually meets twice a year and holds fundraisers for these events.

Barbara said: "When the children are all together they really thrive and they had such a great time. There are no stigmas, as they are all in the same boat. They don't feel left out because they aren't with their mummies and daddies."

The association, which has been running for about 10 years, caters for about 36 "looked after" children.

Sam said: "The group have been so excited by the Christmas party and it all started with them asking for a raffle prize! They really are a deserving group.

"The kids had an absolutely brilliant time and it was lovely to see."

At the party the group held a separate awards evening for children whose parents are fostering children.

Sam said: "At the Star Awards in September it was the children in foster care who were recognised, so we took the opportunity here to say thank you and well done to the biological children who've welcomed foster children into their homes."

Sam arranged a storyteller to come to the party to read Santa's Leftover Magic, the story of Tilly and Jack, the children featured in our Christmas advert, to the younger children.

She said: "They really enjoyed the story and were answering questions when she was asking what you think the lights are and what they would do if they had magic glitter like Tilly."

Our Llangefni store's manager Russell Frankland says the party reflected the real Christmas spirit.

He said: "It was a fantastic day. It's brilliant to be able to give something back to such an important group. To see the reaction on the children's faces was incredible.

"Helping make this happen was the least we could do. It wasn't just for the kids – it's about the people who foster and their children who live with the children their parents are fostering. It was a celebration of everyone."

Russell's a big supporter of the work Sam does in the community around the store and with local groups, charities and good causes across Anglesey.

He said: "Sam's absolutely amazing. She covers all different charities and cares deeply about our community. We're the only Asda on the island with a community champion so she does try to cover the whole island. She works with everyone from schools to groups for the elderly and supports a wide cross-section of the community. She comes up with some magical stuff and I couldn't be more proud of her."