TalkAdoption in London

For the latest information about TalkAdoption, please visit www.talkadoption.org.uk

The TalkAdoption project aims to engage young adopted people aged 0-21 from all over London. It hopes to build confidence, increase self-esteem and reduce feelings of isolation and anxiety. Throughout the year we run a series of free events, workshops and therapeutic groups for adopted children and young people.

TalkAdoption London is funded by BBC Children in Need.

Get Involved

Visit www.talkadoption.org.uk to find out about the latest events in London.

To find out more please contact Gemma Hale on:

Email: london@afteradoption.org.uk

Tel: 0207 700 9730

Past Events

Clapham Teens Group

TalkAdoption held a 6 week group for adopted teenagers to share experiences, gain support from their peers, develop self esteem and have fun. Each week we had a theme to explore (identity/ emotions/ relationships) and drew from a range of therapeutic ideas namely Theraplay, Art Therapy and Drama Therapy. These games and activities allowed the teenagers to explore adoption and express themselves creatively in a safe environment.

Paint Jam 

This TalkAdoption day was facilitated by two trained artists, by using a creative free flow approach designed to activate the imagination and inspire.  Families firstly were guided through a series of creative activities exploring colour, different art materials and ways of freely expressing yourself.  Families then created their own vibrant scenes before joining in together on a great colourful communal canvas.  

Wacky Science

TALKadoptions Wacky Science event was run on behalf of the South West Consortium for 0-11's and their families. In the session, we had a 'sublime scientist' who led the young people in a series of experiments. Amongst others, there was a smoke signal makeing drum, both 'air' and 'water' team races, and extreme face altering 'wind' machine. Aditionally, everyone go to make their own unique concoction of sour sherbet, and green slime which then turned into an incredible bouncing ball!

 

Adventure Team Challenge

In this TALKadoption event for adopted young people aged 12-21, we were all set for high adrenaline challenges. First up there was the high rope course which overlooked the Thames. The young people were challenged by both the height of the course and the fact that they had to put their trust in the other attendees who held the ropes keeping each person safe. Working together the young people were all vocal in providing support for when people needed it at those crucial scary moments. 

The next challenge was a two team effort in bell boats on the high waters of Shadwell Basin. Once everyone had the hang of things like steering and counting to 2 ... well we had to have a final race. The final challenge was an invitation for everyone to jump into the water... it's cold in November!! Well done everyone!

 

Music, Movement and Story

This TALKadoption event for 0-11's saw families being taken on a journey by flight to meet new people and enter new lands. The facilitators (a music therapist and a dance therapist) used a mixture of movement and music to transport them through a series of adventures which included bravely striving through a shimmering tunnel and everyone creating a unique paper plane to take them up, up and away. In the last hour, all of the families had time to talk, play and have a picnic together. 

 

Understanding the Impact of Social Media- Adoptive Parents 
 

In our work with young people we have been hearing of more and more young people who have turned to social networking sites to trace and reconnect with birth relatives.  In some cases adopted young people have received unexpected approaches via social networking from members of their birth family.  Therefore we wanted to run a workshop in order to build awareness so the pitfalls of unmediated contact might be avoided. 

Eileen Fursland led the workshop and worked towards addressing the fears and anxieties of the adoptive parents whilst building their awareness of social media websites and the possible challenges they pose in adoption.  Uniquely, within the workshop we presented the perspectives of the adopted teenagers and their key messages to adopters.  The workshop was really well received.

I have learnt the benefits of being very open with details about their birth family and being prepared if social media contact is made

Excellent resource and helped alleviate anxieties around facebook

It has made me support my child more

I learnt ways of handling the issue when it comes up and how to protect my child from possible harm online

I am more aware of the issue and now feel better equipped to handle it

 

Steering Group Meeting 

This TalkAdoption meeting took place in Islington and we welcomed 4 new members.  In the first half of the session Eileen Fursland was there and did a workshop to capture the young people’s perspectives on social media and contact.  Together they explored what they thought adoptive families should know about the possible challenges posed by social media in adoption and what could help them in the future.  Eileen Fursland led them in a series of interactive activities in order to catch and represent their unique perspective.  In the second half of the meeting the young people carried out an evaluation of the steering group with a focus on user participation.  

 
Adventure in the Park

This TalkAdoption event for 0-11’s and their families, which took place in Holland Park, was extremely well received. It was facilitated by two youth workers from Sharky & George. They came armed with a giant catapult to fire off water balloons, music, cameo paint, and a bucket of sweets.  From their arrival the children were all involved in an action packed adventure full of classic party games with a survival twist.  Lots of energy was required and following the activities there was free time for the families to enjoy a picnic lunch altogether.


It was a great time for both the parents and kids to make connections - Adoptive Parent

Relaxed socialising with other adopters and their children, helps both parents and children. Parents feel they are understood and children realise they are not the only ones - Adoptive Parent

It was a welcome break after a stressful summer holiday - Adoptive Parent

We have benefited greatly from the service and hope to attend further dates - Adoptive Parent

I enjoyed all of it - Adopted Young Person
 

Stratford Music, Movement & Story

This TALKadoption workshop was facilitated by a music therapist and a dance therapist.  The workshop followed the story ‘going on a bear hunt’ and everyone was led on a series of adventures through the use of music and movement.  Together the families explored the giant forest, crossed a vast river and bravely tunnelled through caves.  An additional hour was set aside at the end for all of the families to have a picnic together and to join in with a bear themed colouring activity.  

A fantastic opportunity and one that was emotionally beneficial due to the sensory nature of the games for the children - Adoptive Parent

Thank you for bringing me mummy - Adopted Young Person

Something for all ages, everyone was encouraged to take part without pressure - Adoptive Parent

I am always confident that the events will be emotionally beneficial to my child, more please! - Adoptive Parent

 

Stratford Teens Group
TalkAdoption held 6 weekly groups for adopted teenagers to share experiences, gain support from their peers, develop self esteem and have fun. Each session had a theme (for example identity/ emotions/ relationships) and drew from a range of therapeutic ideas namely Theraplay, Art Therapy and Drama Therapy. These games and activities allowed the teenagers to explore adoption and express themselves creatively in a safe environment. 


The activities were good and always imaginative - Adopted Young Person

I enjoyed making things, it gave me something to think about - Adopted Young Person

I enjoyed meeting other adopted people and I would come to another group - Adopted Young Person

The topics discussed gave me insight and were all relevant to me - Adopted Young Person
 

Adventure Sports

TALKadoption held an Adventure Sports Event open to 12-21 year old adopted young people took place at the Salmon Youth Centre, Bermondsey.  The event was facilitated by specialist staff. The activities included climbing, abseiling, bungee trampolining, the cargo net and a giant swing. The teenagers worked together throughout the day and did things they never thought that they’d be able to do. 

 

The activites were good and always imaginative - Adopted Young Person

I enjoyed making things, it gave me something to think about - Adopted Young Person

I enjoyed meeting other adopted people and I would come to another group - Adopted Young Person

The topics discussed gave me insight and were all relevant to me - Adopted Young Person
 

Into the Wild

An animal encounter ‘Into the Wild’ event for families with adopted children aged 0-11 years took place at the Salmon Youth Centre, Bermondsey.  The event was led by a ranger from a private zoo who bought a number of animals including an Eagle Owl, a Crocodile, a Python, Meerkat and many more.  The children were given information about the animals and a chance to hold them.  Afterwards, the families shared a picnic lunch and had time to network with each other whilst the children coloured giant pictures of animals. 

They love animals and enjoyed the atmosphere at the last Salmon Centre after adoption event, so we were confident throughout - Adoptive Parent

You get to meet other people it has happened to - Adopted Young Person

He feels that he isn't the only one - Adoptive Parent

Great to have such a positive, well- resourced opportunity to spend fun time with other adopted children - Adoptive Parent

 

Campfire Stories
TALKadoption held a storytelling workshop for families with adopted children aged 0-11 years and their parents. The event was led by story telling expert Nell Phoenix. Nell led the children through an enchanted twisty forest, over the crocodile jaws, a quick break of warming hot chocolate and marshmellows and then into a land of giants.
 

It's a chance to interact in a fun way and meet other adopted families

It reduces any feelings of difference - Adoptive Parent

They couldn't believe everyone was adopted - Adoptive Parent

 

Paint Jam
TALKadoption held a Paint Jam workshop open to 12-21 year old adopted young people, facilitated by Dalia Zermon, founder of Paint Jam and her assistant, Anna. The workshop had the theme of 'identity'. The young people learnt how to use different art materials and techniques, made their own artworks and contributed to a communal canvas. Paint Jam

It's nice to know other people like me - Adopted Young Person

It's great to see other people in the same situation as me - Adopted Young Person

 

Merton Teens Group

Adolescence can be a difficult time for adopted teenagers and their adopters. It is a time of rapid physical, intellectual, social and emotional growth. For adopted teenagers, questions relating to identity often arise; who am I? The aim of this group was for adopted teenagers to share experiences, gain support from their peers, develop self esteem and have fun. Each group session had a theme and consisted of talking and sharing time (we named this 'an adoption moment'), a break for drinks and snacks and games and/or an art activity. These games and activities allowed the teenagers to explore their creativity and self-expression.

Merton Teens Group

It was fun making things and talking about adoption - Adopted Young Person

We shared opinions and I liked the atmosphere of all of us - Adopted Young Person

She has previously been teased about being adopted and felt comfortable in a group where that would not happen - Adoptive Parent

 

Integrated Arts Event

TALKadoption held an Integrated Arts Event for adopted 0-11 year olds and their parents. This was facilitated by Christina Rhys (Music Therapist) and Victoria Thompson (Dance Therapist) and supported by the TALKadoption project leaders and a social work student. The workshop allowed the children and their parents to explore music and movement through games and a space story!

Integrated Arts Workshop

She was able to combine music, listening, imagination and play - Adoptive Parent

She smiled a lot - Adoptive Parent

She always likes to know there are others like her - Adoptive Parent

 

Photography Workshops (30th December 2012 & 3rd November 2012)

A fantastic photography workshop was held for 12-21 year olds co-facilitated by the TALKadoption project leaders and Emli Bendixen. Emli Bendixen is a Korean/Danish adopted person and professional photographer based in London. 13 young people attended session one, and 14 attended session two. Identity was explored through photography and each participant took their own photographs between the sessions with a disposable camera given to them. Each participant also made a photograph collage and had an individual portrait taken by Emli.

Photography Workshop

I liked that everyone wasn't strict - Adopted Young Person

I liked being creative and showing feelings and emotions - Adopted Young Person

Our daughter had a great time at the photography workshop today. Many thanks! - Adoptive Parent

 

Adventure Sports Event

On one of the hottest days of the year TALKadoption London organised an Adventure Sports Event for adopted teenagers and a coffee morning for parents. The teenagers’ event was facilitated by specialist staff and the coffee morning facilitated by an adoption support social worker. The day for the teenagers included climbing, abseiling, bungee trampolining and leaping from a very high ledge on a giant swing. The teenagers worked together throughout the day and did things they never thought that they’d be able to do.

Adventure Sports

I found the day fun. At first I felt shy but I soon settled in - Adopted Young Person

I enjoyed the bungee trampolining as everyone did it and it motivated others to participate - Adopted Young Person

She spoke enthusiastically about this after the event. She can feel somewhat isolated in her experience as an adopted child, and connecting with other adopted young people has helped her understand her own experiences - Adoptive Parent

The girls thrive when doing physical activity. It is something that gives them confidence and is good for their self esteem. They gain a great deal when they spend time with other adopted children. It makes them feel less different - Adoptive Parent

It is helpful to talk freely without judgement. Catherine and Isabel are very friendly, welcoming and approachable - Adoptive Parent

 

Islington Teenagers Group
An adoption support social worker and an adoption support assistant ran a TALKadoption London 6-session group for adopted teenagers aged 12-16. 9 teenagers attended. The group gave the teenagers the chance to socialise, chat and share their experiences. They were also able to explore any questions they had. During the group, art activities were undertaken and drama games were played. During one session an adult adoptee came to share their experiences with the group and answered questions. Islington Teens Group

It gets people together to talk about the same things and get answers to questions you want to. You also get a better understanding of life as an adopted person - Adopted Young Person

We should do this for a lifetime - Adopted Young Person

He wanted to go back each week and said he enjoyed meeting with other adopted teenagers - Adoptive Parent

We have noted/observed a change in his self esteem and confidence when going out with his friends - Adoptive Parent

 

Big Art Day
TALKadoption London held an art workshop facilitated by professional artist, Sara Heywood in Brixton for adopted children (aged 5-11). The purpose of the event was for young adopted children to explore their identity and family through a variety of fun art activities with their parents. The activities included drawing, making giant face collages and printing family messages on bunting. By the end of the day the room looked like an art gallery! Big Art Day
 

I enjoyed playing and making pictures for my Daddy - Adopted Young Person

I liked the flower that I made, the handprint on the bag and drawing the face - Adopted Young Person

Primarily an opportunity for my child to feel part of a community and part of an environment with other adopted children - Adoptive Parent

She enjoys art, creating things and meeting other adopted children - Adoptive Parent

We really value the work After Adoption - long may it continue! Thanks! - Adoptive Parent

 

Blood Brothers Workshop and Theatre Trip

TALKadoption took a group of 13 adopted teenagers to a Blood Brothers drama workshop at Pineapple Dance Studios. This explored the adoption themes of the musical. Following the workshop, the group socialised over lunch in an Italian restaurant. To round off the day the group saw a matinee performance of the musical. As an additional surprise following the show, photos were taken with the cast!

Blood Brothers workshop at Pineapple Studios

I enjoyed the play most because I could relate to it - Adopted Young Person

I could talk to people who understood how I feel - Adopted Young Person

She liked the experience of spending the day with other adopted young people. The musical will begin to give her an understanding of the pull between birth family members - Adoptive Parent

My teenager enjoyed meeting and doing things with other adopted children as they feel 'they're the same'. Has already had contact with another teen from the group - Adoptive Parent

 

Children's Party
TALKadoption held a party for adopted children aged 5-11 with the aim of bringing adopted children toegther to have fun and reduce their sense of social isolation. The party took place at a beautiful specialist party venue with a theme of 'Alice in Wonderland'. The party included an entertainer (impersonating the Mad Hatter!) who led the children on a magical journey using music, drama and games. The children were also able to have their faces painted and have a healthy Mad Hatter's Tea Party! Parents also attended for coffee, cakes and a chat.

Children's Alice in Wonderland Party

 

We are extremely grateful for this wonderful part provided by the wonderful staff at After Adoption - Adoptive Parent

For the children - the place, the food, entertainment! For me - an opportunity to meet others plus look at resource books! - Adoptive Parent

I enjoyed all of it! - Adopted Young Person

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