Fostering Connections

Virtual Networking Event

Date | Wednesday 27th September 2023

Time | 9.30pm -11.30am (BST)

Members FREE / Non-Members £15 

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Fostering Connections

Event Detail


Join us on the 27th September for our next Digital Networking event on the theme of Fostering Connections and hear from our associate partners about the great work happening in the area. This will then be followed by a presentation from Dave Linton, founder of Madlug (Make a Difference Luggage) and an interactive workshop from Jade Irwin from The Fostering Network.

Who Should Attend?

The event is open to both members and non-members of the Action Trauma Network and is for anyone who wants to broaden their understanding of fostering, attachment, trauma-informed practice and relational approaches, and gain skills to support children, young people and families to flourish.

Benefits of Attending

  • Connect and collaborate with other individuals and organisations. 
  • Learn more about fostering in Northern Ireland – its impact, benefits and challenges   
  • Build/develop your trauma toolkit at the interactive workshop  
  • Hear how one man’s commitment to change-making has impacted the lives of thousands of children in care in Northern Ireland 

Founded by Dave Linton

Most children and young people in care have their belongings moved in black plastic bin bags or plastic shopping bags. Madlug is an award-winning bag brand that stands for ‘make a difference luggage’.  With every bag purchased, a pack-away travel bag goes to a child in care.  

Dave is an innovator, social entrepreneur, motivational speaker and the founder and managing director of multi-award-winning Madlug C.I.C which achieved B-Corp certification in 2022.    

Prior to beginning his journey with Madlug, Dave was a youth worker for over 20 years and for the past eight years he has also become heavily involved in mentoring and raising awareness of social enterprises and social businesses.  

Following a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign with Madlug over the summer of 2017, Dave was given the opportunity to have brunch with Sir Richard Branson in what was a great opportunity to share the story of Madlug with a global business leader. In 2019 Dave went on to win the prestige titles of GBEA Entrepreneur of the year for Northern Ireland and Entrepreneur for Good for the UK.  

Dave is extremely passionate about using Madlug to influence a new young generation of social entrepreneurs 

Head of Step Up Step Down Programme at The Fostering Network

Jade Irwin is the Head of Step Up Step Down at The Fostering Network, leading on support with families on the periphery of care. Operating in partnership with local authority services, Step Up Step Down is a pioneering approach to supporting families on the edge of care. It demonstrates a reduction in the numbers of children coming into care, and improved outcomes for children and families.  

At its heart are specialist, highly trained family support foster carers, who provide time-limited, preventative support to up to four families at any one time.     

According to Jade, she has the best job in the world! Jade is also a trustee for YMCA Ireland and is a firm believer in empowering and collaborating with young people. She loves coffee, long walks by the sea, playing guitar and any excuse for a laugh. Most of all, Jade loves hearing and sharing real-life, true stories and appreciates honest human encounters. 



Free To Members