Phew. That went quick, or maybe it was long – I’m not quite sure.  Anyway National Adoption week took place last week – all the regional adoption services played their part in a high profile campaign orchestrated by the National Adoption Service.

As part of the launch of a large overarching campaign ‘The Parent You Can Be’ –  last week saw a few firsts…from Wales’s first adoption TV advert to, ahem, Western Bay adoption’s first foray with a full-time marketing officer!

If I had a trumpet (and if I could play) I would blow it.

As the lack of time grasp at the beginning of this blog suggests, it was a busy week.  The ever decreasing space of WBAS HQ was a busy beehive of activity with selfie frames being flung about, merchandise being shipped out to public spaces, t – shirt lettering (more on that in a moment), event organising and booking, pack preparing and, erm, cake eating.

I’ve never worked in a circus but juggling skills still came to the fore during the week, as the communication needs of adoption week needed to be balanced with engagement and outreach work in large local business and the local community.

Tuesday was Aberavon Shopping Centre, it was great to get talking to people and hear first-hand some experiences people have had in this area.

The take up of our branded pens was interesting too, there must be quite a lot of prolific older male writers in the area – in a town that has spawned some of Hollywood’s finest leading men say no more!

Thanks also to TATA Steel for allowing us to set up in their canteen on a Monday. Some great engagement with employees resulting in solid enquiries from potential adopters.

A take-home for me from the TATA session is just how many people have been affected by adoption and fostering, whether that is in terms of being adopted themselves or having previous experience of fostering.

The week also featured a successful profiling event, which aims to initiate the steps to successfully match children with adopters.

The national service’s marketing campaign for adoption week and ‘The Parent You Can Be’ was and is multi-faceted. Alongside the outdoor and TV advertising a strong social push took place with the message heavily focused on the adopter, breaking down barriers and misconceptions regarding eligibility,  and promoting the positive effects of adoption – for both the child and adopter.

Each regional service has had a social take over day, promoting and highlighting their recent successes – Western Bay’s was Monday 21 October.  There has been an increase in the amount of enquiries we have received this week, we haven’t measured this yet, but some of the resonant and emotive imagery and messaging in the media must be playing its part.

As Western Bay Adoption Service steps onwards into 2020 many exciting developments are afoot.  Recent National investment in adoption totals £2.3m whilst Western Bay is looking to expand the team through the appointment of additional social workers, a TESSA coordinator, a children’s inclusion officer, therapists and a marketing officer.

Our activity the last 5 days hasn’t been limited to National Adoption Week. We have also been, alongside the usual important processes of approving adopters, matching and providing training – supporting Breast Cancer Awareness (the t-shirt lettering above) and putting into place our plans for the next round of charity fundraising.

Think lots of cake baking and selling, Christmas jumper fees and fines, raffles and competitions – we will keep you updated! If you have ideas for fundraising that you think the team could use get in touch on our social media and let us know.  #YouCanAdopt



Nation Radio Pride Of Wales AwardsWestern Bay on the airwaves..