Project information

The Fostering Network - Memory Box Project

The Fostering Network wants to provide every foster child under 10 with a memory box in which they can keep reminders and mementos of treasured memories, positive life experiences, notable events and personal achievements in their lives. Helping to build their confidence and self esteem

One year

Charity information: The Fostering Network

The Fostering Network logo
  • Need


    Life for young people in care is often transient and unsettled. They often migrate back and forth from care to birth family, and from foster care to residential care. As a result they often don’t accumulate reassuring memories enjoyed by children with a stable upbringing, and need encouragement to reflect on and understand their history. One way of enabling them to do this is for them to personally choose and store precious objects, certificates, photo's and imortant memories in a safe place


    Through our network of foster carers and working with care staff in residential settings we will provide memory boxes to any child in care that asks. The national minimum standard for foster care suggests the value of memory boxes as tools for positive reinforcement and development of children in care but there is no provision made formally to supply these and therefore, no consistency of access to these very useful gifts.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    The appeal will fund the manufacture and distribution of memory boxes to children in care.


    » We will prioritise younger children in care aged 0-10 as we can achieve the greatest positive impact on them - we hope to reach 42,000 children.
    » We will engage business and charitable trusts in answering our appeal for funding and support
    » We will inspire and engage the business community in the appeal by approaching high profile individuals and organisations for support
    » We will engage schools and pupils in the appeal by hosting a competition to design boxes and to ask students to think about what they store in a box

    What success will look like

    We will demonstrate success by measuring the number of boxes funded and supplied to children in care and by evaluating impact through a qualitative survey with carers.

  • Impact


    The memory boxes will give children in care something they can fill with all the positive happy memories of childhood that they may otherwise lose track of on their journey through care. They will personalise the boxes and as part of that process and in choosing the contents they will reflect positively on their lives and it will help them understand their history and encourage the development of their self-esteem, character and give them the confidence they need to learn develop and grow


    We perceive the key risk as being a lack of engagement with the public and a shortfall in funding that leads to disappointment amongst potential beneficiaries unable to access a memory box. We will militate against this risk by holding a pre-launch funding round with Trusts and Corporates to secure pledges of funding sufficient to avoid or severely limit this risk. We have already help positive discussions with three trusts along exactly these lines


    We will report formally to donors at conclusion of the project but will maintain a steady flow of communication throughout the project using all available media channels including e-mail, Facebook, Twitter etc.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £580,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £314,650 Memory Boxes 29,000 large, deep treasure chests measuring 35x24.5x17.2cm
      £116,000 Delivery £4.00 per box
      £58,000 Personalisation Stencilling and personalisation of the boxes
      £41,350 Project management Costs Direct project management costs
      £50,000 Surplus Contingency and potential donation
  • Background


    This is a UK-wide project. There are currently 81,000 children in care in the UK. Many have been taken into care because they have suffered abuse or neglect. The rest come from circumstances where their families can no longer support them. On any one day there are more than 63,000 children across the UK living with foster families. Foster families are a vital element in the support of looked after children, and often provide them with their first positive experience of a loving and stable home


    Children in care are among the most vulnerable in our society, and face numerous challenges to their education, health and long term outcomes. Children leaving care are much more likely not to be in education, employment or training, to become homeless, to offend, and suffer health problems. Around 40% have diagnosed mental health conditions including anxiety. Children in care have more chance of going in to custody than university.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Fostering Network is the UK's leading charity for everyone involved in foster care. Together with our members and supporters, we act as a powerful and positive catalyst for change with 78% of all children in care with foster carer members of our charity.

    In 2014 we launched our new vision, mission and objectives. We want children in foster care to enjoy the same life chances as other children, transform their prospects, make their voices heard and enable them to reach their full potential

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Tony Round

    Head of Fundraising and responsible for pulling together all the many stakeholders that will help us successfully deliver this project