Christmas at a fostering charity – support workers share behind-the-scenes secrets

December 21, 2023

Last year our Support Workers, Natalie and Chelsey, earned the nicknames Jingle and Jangle as they embraced the Christmas spirit. This year once again we are pulling out all the stops for the CHT Community to celebrate Christmas.

As a children’s charity, Carolina House Trust has never shied away from Christmas festivities. Providing a community experience and a generous sprinkle of childlike magic helps us show our appreciation to each other and we believe that all children and young people should experience joy in their lives.

Man dressed up in front of Christmas tree giving young girl a gift

Natalie and Chelsey have no sooner removed the last (fake) Hallowe’en cobweb from the building before they throw themselves headfirst into Christmas. While keeping up a schedule of one-to-one support work, assisting with family time and getting the views of our young people, they get to work leading the Christmas Programme. 

We asked them to share a timeline of the festive season at CHT.


The Christmas Party date is secured in our calendar at the start of each year when we share the dates of all our community events. Our families enjoy a lot of weekend activities so we need to save the dates for our events early.


We have participation events throughout the year to gather the opinions of our young people. They tell us at the Inclusion Day that they would like to go bowling as a group later in the year. We like the idea that the whole community can take part in bowling as an inclusive event. 

A white decorative tree has coloured mail tags hanging from its branches. Each tag has a suggestion made by a young person about changes they would like to see at CHT.


With our summer programme complete and Hallowe’en well underway, work begins on the details of our Festive Programme. The whole team get involved. We send invitations and gather RSVPs from our families. This year we have booked a trip to the bowling alley and a party at Head Office.

In the invitation pack, we also include details of our Christmas Card competition and ask the community to think about their achievements for the year.


We like to buy our children and young people thoughtful and individual Christmas gifts so we check with the carers that we are on the right track. We then go shopping! Thankfully Ruth from BrightSolid came across the road to help us wrap gifts.

Two women stand facing the camera holding gifts wrapped in red paper.

We also treat our carer families to a goody bag and assemble these in November. We give them to carers at their Christmas lunch. 

Santa is in demand in December so we address the challenge of booking him for our party in our all-staff meeting. Against all the odds, we secured his services for an hour.

From the end of November, we start to get the building party-ready. We have lots of decorations to choose from, including many our young people have made over the years.

Two women are observed decorating a Christmas tree inside the foyer of a building. They are stretching to reach a high spot.

We also work with Get Set Yeti to produce a Christmas countdown for our community on social media. For 12 days we have daily kindness tasks to complete and all our team get involved. 

A cartoon of yetis dancing around a decorated Christmas tree



We do a big order online for party food at the beginning of December and Natalie collects it the day before the party.

We announce the winner of our Christmas Card design competition. This year the winning card was designed by Brodie, aged 6. We print some copies and send a message digitally. 

A picture of Rudolph the reindeer made with different materials as a collage.

We like to get the RSVP’s in nice and early so we can plan all our special touches but we always find ourselves accommodating last-minute changes due to family circumstances.

Our carers enjoy a festive lunch. At an autumn coffee morning, some carers said they would like to go out to a local restaurant this year and we booked exactly that.

A group of adults sit around a table in a restaurant. The table is set with Christmas crckers and the group are smiling at the camera.

In the week leading up to the community party, we get set up in between visiting young people and providing support. Natalie is also busy writing a quiz for the event for families to enjoy as a team.

A collage of photographs taken at a Christmas party with families.

We host the party on a Saturday in December with the staff team pitching in to organise the bowling, preparing a buffet, organising entertainment and providing Santa with gifts. It’s great to see everyone enjoying themselves and connecting with other community members. 

A collage of photos taken at a bowling alley. Families are wearing Christmas jumpers and playing with staff.

After the clean-up, we have some gifts to deliver to carers and young people who could not attend. The staff team deliver these while out and about doing visits or supervision with foster carers.


After a well-deserved break, ‘Jingles & Jangles’ collect feedback from young people about participation and events this year and use that to plan this year’s events.

Two women wearing matching 'Elf Squad' Christmas jumpers are smiling and holding Christmas props.

If you are interested in fostering and would like to be part of the CHT Community next Christmas, please get in touch. we