A member of Warwickshire County Council’s fostering service is drawing praise for her selfless work which sees festive hampers go to some of the county’s most vulnerable young people.
Over the last 16 years, Norma Wilson, a placement Support Worker for the Warwickshire Fostering Service, has created hundreds of hampers for young people who don’t have any family to give them support over the Christmas period.
Many people will not receive any gifts this Christmas, or will receive very few, and the hampers always make a real difference to them.
Norma started off by creating just a few hampers but, over the last couple of years, the amount has snowballed. In 2015, Norma beat her personal best and created 100 hampers for the young people of Warwickshire.
She now aims to go one step further by putting together 130 hampers for young people and asylum seekers who have recently come out of foster care and now live alone.
As well as Christmas gifts, the hampers also contain essentials such as socks, gloves, mince pies, biscuits, soups, toothbrushes, sheets and anything else that might be of use. 30 hampers will also go to young people with babies and Norma is accepting donations such as hand-knitted cardigans, hats and gloves to be included in the boxes.
Norma has continued to ask neighbours, friends and work colleagues for support and has contacted various supermarkets and shops to gather more donations and has been overwhelmed by the positive response.
“The volume of donations we received last year was incredible and it was simply the best year ever for gifts and donations towards the cause. For 16 years, I have seen just how kind and generous everyone can be at Christmas and it’s truly heart-warming.
“Social workers receive dozens of cards from young people saying how much the boxes have helped them and it’s always nice to think that somebody cares. This is the busiest time of year for me and it’s a huge success to us all, so thanks to everyone for getting involved.”
Cllr Les Caborn, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Health, said: “For the 16th year running, a huge well done to Norma for bringing such positivity and enthusiasm to such a worthwhile and rewarding cause. She is well known for her hard work and Warwickshire County Council will always help to support the most vulnerable members of society at Christmas and beyond.”
Cllr Dave Parsons, Chair of the Children & Young People Overview & Scrutiny Committee, added: “Thank you to Norma for providing such a wonderful service at Christmas and for her hard work and determination to help those who are most vulnerable. Norma will always lend a helping hand and continues to succeed in bringing happiness to Warwickshire care leavers.”
If you wish to donate any items, please contact the Warwickshire Fostering Service on firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can freephone 0800 408 1556.
For more information, please visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/fostering