05 Oct Fusion Fest 2018
It all got a bit exciting in August when we decided to invite our whole Fusion Family from each corner of the UK, plant them on a farm in the Cotswolds, and host the very first Fusion Fest!
The guest list consisted of our directors, staff, and their families; our care partners, foster parents, and their birth and foster children, all arriving on Friday. Being the most central area to all six regional offices, the scenic Cotswolds were the idyllic setting for an unforgettable weekend of camping and activities – a well needed break for all!
It wasn’t all relaxation though; we had all hands on deck for setting up the tents on Friday, followed by a fish and chips supper around the fire where everybody introduced themselves and became familiarised with the plans for the weekend of fun ahead.
And what a list! We held a range of sports for all ages such as football, rounders, space-hopper racing… yep, you heard right – for ALL ages! There was also a selection of arts and crafts events which included Decorating the festivals main marquee. This contained the stage for the main event: we were lucky enough to be paid a visit from the massively talented Bud Sugar! They made a special round-trip all the way from Hull to light up our Saturday night with their music, so we made sure they were greeted with a stunning tent decorated by our guests with the brightest of bunting and posters. This appearance came off the back of Fusion sponsoring them on their recent visit to Gambia. James, our marketing director, went along with them and linked up with an orphanage over there, but there will be more to follow up on that visit very soon, so keep your eyes peeled!
We’re not silly, here at Fusion HQ… we all know who the crowd really go wild for. So of course, we managed to persuade our very own Foz the Fusion Fostering Frog to bless us with his presence by securing a farm with lots of water for him to take a dip in. This meant we got to take a tour of the farm lakes and a nature trail that led us to a thriving environment for fresh-water mussels. These are really rare in the UK so it was a privilege to go and see them in their home. The guests also got to learn about agriculture and how the farm works when we aren’t partying in it! And party we did. Bud Sugar gave a cracking show as usual; everybody had a blast and even got to see Foz bust some moves.
If you were out flying your helicopter over the Cotswolds that weekend you will have seen our guests forming a human ‘FUSION’ floor sign which was a real laugh for everyone involved. Another of our Hull friends from Octovision Media – one of Yorkshire’s leading drone specialists – captured some amazing shots of it from above! If you don’t happen to have your own flying equipment and you missed it, then not to worry! You can follow us and find it on our Fusion Facebook page linked below.
After the event we managed to catch up with one of our team members, Cath, who attended with her seven year old birth daughter, Poppy, and twelve year old foster daughter, Louise. The girls were willing to give us some useful feedback on the weekend:
‘When we arrived we met James, he looked really funny with his glitter beard and he was very generous to us. Me and Poppy ran to the glitter stand straight away and got our faces painted and braids done with glitter in! Later on we played rounders. Katie said who wants to be a captain, so I put up my hand and was picked. I had to choose people for my team, and… my team won! Yey team!’
‘My favourite thing was rounders. I wasn’t very good at fielding but I was good at batting. We painted a big Fusion Fest sign and we all got covered in paint! I liked doing the arts and crafts too; I made some paper chains for the tent’.
After all the adventures of the day time, the girls needed to refuel so they could enjoy some boogying to Bud Sugar! Poppy filled us in with the evening’s events:
‘We had a BBQ and the burgers were scrumptious. I danced to the band I thought they were really good. One of the band let us cover him with glitter! Then Foz came out and surprised us all and gave us sweets. I was tired on the way home but had a great time’.
Moving forward, we are already planning next summer’s Fusion Fest! We plan to go bigger and better; so far we’re playing with ideas surrounding a Culture Marquee where we will talk about different ethnic backgrounds, including different types of food, music, and arts. There will also be a Story-Teller Marquee where children can share their favourite short stories and poems on stage to the attendees. Same as this year, there will be no shortage of colourful creations, and the music tent will be back in action, packed with more acts and events over the weekend!
A huge thank you goes out to everybody who made Fusion Fest 2018 possible, including our directors, attending team, care partners, foster families, Bud Sugar, and the very hospitable Cotswolds farm for letting us stay! It is important to us to keep a closely knitted family by getting everyone together to celebrate the power of fostering and the differences it makes on young lives.
Louise said it better than anyone, so we will let her sign off for us:
‘If you are part of the Fusion crew or the Fusion family, come along, you will have a great time. Lots of love and see you all next year!’
Currently, there are more than 7000 carers needed in the UK alone, meaning more than 7000 children are living without the proper care of a loving family that they so desperately require. Keeping our foster families happy means we receive a higher number of success stories to share, allowing us to raise awareness for the need of carers across the country. This, in turn, allows us to achieve our goal of finding more loving foster homes for those children in need.
Check out our Fusion Fest video here