Monday, 28 November 2011

National Adoption Week 2011

Film finalists Jo Galloway and Charlotte Carson
with BAAF Patron Clare Grogan
BAAF's Press Officer, Jane Elston looks back over this year's National Adoption Week...

Wow! This has been the busiest and most exciting National Adoption Week ever and we are just about recovering! I would like to start by saying a big THANK YOU to everyone, especially all our Adoption Champions, who supported us and helped make this year’s National Adoption Week such a success.

BAAF and the Fostering Network joined forces and were supported by the Government to create an ongoing campaign to recruit more adopters and foster carers. It was a lot of hard, but very exciting, work, especially during the run-up to National Adoption Week, but we got there! The result was the 'Give a Child a Home' campaign  which was launched as part of National Adoption Week.

BAAF’s Chief Executive, David Holmes and Adoption Champions, Avril, Karen and Tracy were invited to meet the Prime Minister, David Cameron at a children’s centre. This included a round table discussion where David Holmes and our Champions had the chance to share their views and experiences about adoption with the P.M.

ITV’s This Morning and The Sun newspaper were our media partners again and they featured 18 children throughout the week who need to be adopted. Over 300 members of the public have expressed an interest in offering the various children a home, so hopefully we will have good news about these children finding their ‘forever family’.

BAAF spokespersons and BAAF Adoption Champions were interviewed or featured over 180 times in the media. As well as This Morning and he Sun, the media outlets featuring National Adoption Week ranged from the Times to the Independent on Sunday, BBC Breakfast, Channel 4 News, Sky News and Channel Five’s Gabby Logan Show as well as radio stations and local papers across the UK.

For the very first time, a BAAF spokesperson took part in a web chat on Mumsnet! Our very own Jeffrey Coleman, Director of BAAF Southern Region joined adoptive mother and former MP Oona King in the web chat and I know he thoroughly enjoyed himself!

BAAF also hosted a special National Adoption Week twitter chat. Tim Loughton MP, the Under Secretary for State for Children and Families, and Broadcaster and BAAF Patron Nicky Campbell kindly joined us as our special guest Tweeters and the hour long tweetfest turned out to be our most popular ‘chat’ ever!

However, the highlight for many of us at BAAF was our film competition awards reception, held on the Tuesday of National Adoption Week. It was a chance for us to meet some of our Adoption Champions in person together with some of the filmmakers who entered our National Adoption Week film competition ‘What adoption means to me’. BAAF Patrons Nicky Campbell and Clare Grogan were on hand to announce the film competition winners and share their adoption experiences. In fact, the whole evening was full of people swapping their adoption stories; everywhere I turned there were smiles and hugs (and even a few tears – mostly mine). Whether someone was an adoptive parent, an adopted person or a BAAF supporter, for everyone it was simply a true celebration of adoption.

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