How we help carers

#TogetherTuesday

Family Stories: Young carer SophieMany of the families we help are carers…

Children looking after their parents.

Grandparents looking after their grandchildren.

For children who are young carers, they miss out on doing the things that other children their age are doing. Because of their caring role, they miss out on events, activities, and experiences.Family Stories: Eva and her grandchildren They don’t have a childhood.

For grandparents looking after their grandchildren full-time, they take on a huge responsibility. At a time in their lives when they should be taking it easy, they find themselves thrust back into night feeds, dirty nappies and school runs.

On top of this, they often feel guilty that they can’t give their grandchildren the experiences and opportunities they would like to be able to give them. Either because of their age or not being able to afford this a second time round.

Spotlight on Grandparents Plus

How we work with Grandparents Plus to help kinship care families

One of the charities we work with is Grandparents Plus. They help families where grandparents play a vital role in the development of their grandchildren.

Grandparents PlusWe recently funded a day out for around 200 families at four locations across the country, as part of this year’s Grandparents Plus’ Kinship Care Celebration Day on Saturday 6th October.

The day was a rare chance for families where grandparents or other family members have stepped in to raise children whose parents can’t care for them to spend time together as a family and meet others in their situation. Wearing distinctive yellow badges, carers came together at attractions in London, Halifax, Alnwick and Warrington, which was held in partnership with Liverpool Kinship Carers.

Despite there being around 200,000 children in kinship care in the UK, many families struggle to get the financial, emotional and practical support they need, and many are not entitled to any statutory help.

Grandparents Plus Family StoriesLucy Peake, chief executive of Grandparents Plus, said:
“Kinship carers are often in really difficult situations, and this day gave them a chance to relax and just enjoy spending time with the children. For some families, this will be one of the only chances they get to visit places like these all year. It’s also a great opportunity for kinship carers and children to come together, and an important reminder that they’re not alone.”

A carer having a day out as part of the Celebration Day, said:
“We love meeting other kinship carers through these sorts of days, it’s so important”

The Celebration Day also marked the beginning of Kinship Care Week – which aims at raising awareness of kinship care nationally. You can get involved in the conversation on Twitter #KinshipCareWeek 

Grandparents Plus Celebration Day

Group photo from the Grandparents Plus Celebration Day in October

Working with referrers

All the families we help to have a break or day out are referred to us by someone already working with them in a supporting role. This would be a teacher, health visitor, social worker and other charities such as Grandparents Plus, or Barnardo’s and Shelter.

By working with referrers, we can be sure that the funds we raise help the families who will benefit most.

You can hear from Family Support Worker, Maryam Mahmud, who talks about why she refers families to our charity and what a break can mean to them.

Or watch this short video told by Bereavement Councillor Kate, about how a short break away from the Family Holiday Association helped to lift cares away for Tom and Rebecca.