Elephants are extremely intelligent animals and have memories that span many years. They form deep family bonds and live in tight matriarchal family groups. When a calf is born, it is raised and protected by the whole matriarchal herd. Elephants engage in greeting ceremonies, complex communication, courtship, teaching, and communal care. They also display signs of grief, joy, anger and play.
It is because elephants are so good at looking after their young that we adopted them as our logo at Family Fostering Partners (FFP). The elephants represent the way in which children who become looked after in the care system need us to work as a team to keep them safe and
well and to help them express their feelings and manage their emotions.
We decided to go one step further and to bring our mascots to life. We created two cuddly elephants, Buttons and Blue, not only to spread the word about the benefits and the importance of becoming foster parents, but also to help communicate with our younger children about issues that are sometimes difficult to explain.
Family Fostering Partners is a family-owned and run agency so when it came to designing the original Buttons we did not need to look far. The first and second generations of Buttons were designed, stitched, and stuffed by a very skilled family member.
Buttons, and his foster parent, Blue, have travelled the country, joining us at events and training courses. They have been much admired by those who meet them and, as you can see, we have taken great care of them!
Our elephants quickly became part of the wider FFP family and were transformed into e-books and videos with the aim of creating stories that help to talk to children about fostering and to support children and young people to express and share feelings they may have.
We are always on the lookout for new adventures and opportunities for Buttons and Blue, therefore, when in early 2020 we heard that Tŷ Hafan was starting a new fundraising campaign to raise money for essential refurbishments, we wondered how Buttons and Blue could use their special Elephant cuteness to help the project.
That was the push we needed to develop our new Buttons stuffed toy which you can buy for just £13.99 with all profits going to Tŷ Hafan.