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How corporate support makes a difference

Tiger Stores have been supporting St Christopher’s since 2015. It started with a partnership with a store near our main office in South West London and has grown to include a number of shops that are close to our services across the UK.

Sandie Paul, West Midlands Fostering Manager, explains the difference that donations from our corporate partners can make to a vulnerable young person:

In my region we have a wonderful sibling group of three living with a foster carer. The two sisters and one brother have experienced things that many of us could never imagine.

Katie is the middle child. She has experienced both sexual and physical abuse. She spends lots of her time thinking about these experiences, which stops her from making friends and from being happy in a group. This also makes her feel like she is to blame for what happened to her and that she is unworthy of nice things.

Katie joined PEAS, our Performing Expressive Arts Superstars drama group that we run every month for our foster children. There is some learning involved in the activities but the main aim is to have fun.

In one session the children had to act like someone else. They all pretended to be different things from Batman to a dancer and looked at why you would want to be somebody else. They had to think about how that person would behave, interact with others and see the world.

Katie became a dancing princess. She loved dressing up and the freedom that being someone else gave her.

A few weeks later we received a box of donations from Tiger including a castle with a king, queen, prince and princess.

Katie, her carers and her St Christopher’s social worker built and played with the castle as a group. Katie is always in charge of the stories that they play out together – some are happy and some are sad.

This time it’s different for Katie because these stories have an ending. The prince and princess are kept safe by the king and queen, who protect them from the dragon.

This may have been a simple donation but for Katie it has been life-changing. Now she can show how she is feeling through play rather than through negative behaviour. With the love and support of her foster carers and St Christopher’s staff, she can come to terms with events from her past.

From all of the West Midlands fostering team, we want to say a huge thank you to Tiger for everything they have given a little girl who is now smiling and less frightened of the world.

Aga Zaborowicz, Manager of the Tiger store in Putney, South West London, said: "We are just giving away things that we don't use or can't sell anymore, but it is the amazing people at St Christopher's who turn our donations into things that can change lives."

Could your organisation support our work with vulnerable young people? Contact our fundraising team today.

Find out more about fostering by talking to a member of our friendly enquiries team today on 0800 234 6282.