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National Adoption Week is here and Crawley families can help

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This National Adoption Week (12–18 October, 2020), Adoption South East is highlighting the need to find families for some of the most vulnerable children within our region, the children who wait the longest for a loving home. These include those in sibling groups, older children, children with complex health needs and also children from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.

In the UK, there are almost 3,000 children who are in need of an adoptive family – yet the number of adoptions in England has fallen by a third in four years.

Last month a new national adoption recruitment campaign #YouCanAdopt was launched to raise awareness about adoption and bust myths around who is eligible to adopt and to encourage more people to register their interest. Applications are welcome from people aged 21 and above, regardless of marital status, race, disability, sexuality or gender.

Michael Wilson, Head of Adoption South East, said:

“We want to use the national #YouCanAdopt campaign and National Adoption Week as an opportunity to bust some of the myths surrounding adoption. We need adoptive parents from all backgrounds who are compassionate, resilient and willing to give a child a safe and loving home to help them flourish.

“If you are considering adopting, I would encourage you to get in touch. You can chat with one of our friendly team, ask a question online or request an invitation to one of our regular online information events. Meanwhile, there is lots of helpful information on our website about how the adoption process works.”

Ruth, an adoptive parent from the South East region, explains why she and her partner Mike decided to adopt. She said:

“Mike and I had talked about adopting when we first got together, however we went on to have two children and it wasn’t until they were a bit older that we started to think again about adoption. I’m white and Mike is black so we wanted to adopt a child who reflected our, and our children’s, mixed heritage.

“We adopted our daughter earlier this year and our three children have had an amazing time getting to know each other over the lockdown period. We’ve had the support from Adoption South East whenever we’ve needed it and we feel really lucky to have had such a positive experience with our daughter settling into our family.”

Adoption South East brings together the adoption services from West Sussex County Council, East Sussex County Council, Brighton and Hove Council and Surrey County Council, making is easier to find permanent homes for children who need them across the whole region.

Jacquie Russell, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at West Sussex County Council, said:

“Dispelling the many misconceptions around who can adopt is really important in breaking down the barriers which often prevent people from applying. I would encourage anyone considering adoption to contact our adoption service, who can discuss how adoption can work for you and your family.”

To find out more about adopting a child in West Sussex visit https://www.adoptionsoutheast.org.uk/

Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP: Poppy Appeal 2020

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In his article this week, Crawley MP Henry Smith looks to raise awareness of the importance of continuing support for the Royal British Legion:

Throughout the course of this year we have seen so many aspects of day-to-day life affected by COVID-19, with few being more poignant than the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

With the pandemic impacting some of the more traditional and familiar ways we remember, I am keen to raise awareness of how we can continue to support the Royal British Legion in a safe and socially distant manner.

  • Poppies in the Post: The Royal British Legion’s website allows you to request 20 poppies free of charge, which can be distributed to friends and neighbours. Many of the volunteers who usually distribute more than 40 million poppies annually are unable to do so this year, so we are being asked to step in to support the Armed Forces community and ensure their contribution to our country is not forgotten. Please remember to make a donation to the Royal British Legion after requesting your poppies.
  • Printable Poppy: Unfortunately, large scale gatherings at the Cenotaph in London, at memorials across Crawley and around the country to pay our respects will be restricted to a smaller number of representatives. The Royal British Legion have therefore launched the Printable Poppy – an A4 poster which can be displayed at home, perhaps in the front window – for us to show our support.
  • My Poppy Run: A further consequence of COVID-19 are the changes to the My Poppy Run events which are usually held in October and November. Due to social distancing, these are taking place virtually, with participants being able to run, jog or walk while raising money.
  • Visit the local supermarket: The Royal British Legion have confirmed that supermarkets including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons, Aldi and Asda, in addition to online retailers such as Amazon and eBay, as well as Lloyds Bank and Santander are supporting the 2020 Poppy Appeal. Each location has a number of cashless donation options, and Morrisons and Sainsbury’s offer customers an option to add a donation to their shopping bill.
  • Poppy Shop: With products ranging from poppy pins and jewellery, to clothing, stationery and homeware, 100 per cent of profits from the Poppy Shop go towards the Royal British Legion’s work to support the Armed Forces community.
  • Donate online or by text: The Legion’s website allows supporters to make a donation online, or by sending a text message to donate £2, £5 or £10.

While the ways our country reflects and remembers will undoubtedly feel different, the message remains the same. The sense of duty of all in the Armed Forces community will never be forgotten.

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

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