6 reasons why we love the John Lewis Christmas advert

As a local authority fostering service, we must admit…we LOVE the John Lewis Christmas ad this year! It’s always a conversation starter ‘ooh have you seen any Christmas ads yet?’, and over the years there has arguably been increasing competition amongst brands to be the ‘stand out’ at Christmas.

This year, John Lewis have smashed it out the park (in our totally non-biased opinion!), and if you haven’t seen it, we recommend you give it a watch. Then come back for a conversation with us about fostering.

It’s very easy to say that we like something, but we’ve delved further to explain exactly why.

1. foster carers are ‘everyday’ people that do incredible things

No two children are the same, and neither is the foster carer they need. But what they do need is someone to care. Someone that will take the time to make them feel wanted, and to welcome them into their home, no questions asked.

What we see on the advert is an ‘ordinary’ couple, who evidently really, really care. We see the time spent by the one carer, learning a new (and potentially dangerous!) skill, purely so he has something in common with the child they will be caring for. We also see the other carer taking the phone calls, making arrangements.

Both carers show their commitment and compassion, albeit in very different ways. From what we can tell, they appear to be regular people, but ones that want to make a positive difference.

When it comes to who can foster, we ask: can you make a difference, and do you want to?

2. it focuses on the inspirational, the good, the dedication

At its simplest, we see someone doing their very best to make someone else feel welcome.

The ad could’ve focused on the negative aspects surrounding foster care, but instead conveys a very real story in a relatable and positive way. We see the good in people. We see community. We see compassion. We see commitment.

Of course, the experiences of children in care are the most important thing, but John Lewis is focusing on what can be done about it. What can we all do to turn these bad experiences into good, potentially great ones?

In focusing on the foster carers, John Lewis has brought fostering into mainstream media. In a way that people could actually consider doing themselves. And how so many of us have the potential to change the outcomes and futures of young people’s lives.

The effort put in and seeing the girl smile is everything.

3. meeting Ellie

Ellie isn’t ‘just another statistic’. She’s a real person, with real interests, a real story, real experiences. As is every child and young person in the care system. She is worth the effort. She is worth the time spent. Although we only meet Ellie at the end of the ad, we’re immediately introduced to one of her hobbies (of course we find this out later). She is welcomed into a home where she is already valued, and that could make a huge positive impact on a child / young person meeting their new foster family. It’s the small things that count the most.

4. challenging stereotypes

Traditionally, you may think of foster carers as predominantly being female. That it’s a more maternal role. But John Lewis have challenged this stereotype by introducing us to, and following the journey of, a male foster carer.

We have some absolutely fantastic male foster carers in Foster Wales. No matter who you are, fostering is an opportunity to make a real difference to children in your local community. We need diverse carers with different backgrounds, experiences and stories. Whether you’re single, married, in a same sex, or heterosexual couple, almost anyone could be a potential foster carer.

It’s also refreshing to see a foster child that is older than you may assume. There’s no ‘typical’ foster child. From babies to teenagers, from brothers and sisters to young mums and dads, there are so many different children and young people across Wales right now who need that chance. That opportunity, to step onto a new path. That’s where foster carers can help.

5. bringing fostering into mainstream

John Lewis is an absolutely massive brand. They have huge reach, are credible, and people tune in. Having their Christmas advert focused on fostering is HUGE. Let’s continue to talk about it. Continue to ask questions. Continue learning about children that need homes, and to be cared for. And what we can each do. Could you foster? Could you offer short breaks for children? Could you open your home to a child or young person that needs it most? There are different types of fostering that you could do. Speak to your local authority. Find out more.

6. it isn’t just an advert

It’s great that a national brand has highlighted the need for foster carers in the UK, but that isn’t all they’re doing. John Lewis have a launched a ‘Building Happier Futures Employment Programme’ which is ‘an ongoing scheme to identify and recruit talented young people who’ve experienced care to become Partners in our business’. Their long term commitment is to: Be the employer of choice for young people who are care experienced. Support young people leaving the care system into meaningful long-term employment at the John Lewis Partnership or with other employers. Support children in care to equip them for happier futures through partnerships with the voluntary and charity sectors. Raise awareness of the inequalities faced by those who are care experienced, empowering them to tell their own stories in their own words.

Get in touch

John Lewis has made an important first step in highlighting the need for more foster carers in the UK. But have you considered how many children there are that need support, in your local area?

Whether you’ve never considered fostering before, or you’re someone that’s been meaning to start the process, why not get in touch? Our website has plenty of information, as does our recruitment officer – who’s more than happy to have a friendly, no-obligation chat with you.

If you reside outside of the Bridgend area, and would like to find out more, visit to find your local authority fostering team!

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