Kinship Carers Providing Support

A charity which helps carers in Liverpool to keep children within their family environment has been awarded a three-year grant from the Steve Morgan Foundation.

Kinship Carers, established in 1980’s and based at Ellergreen Community Centre, is a support organisation for carers – usually grandparents – who look after other members of their family – usually grandchildren, when their parents are unable to do so.

The Steve Morgan Foundation’s donation of £90,000 to help with staffing costs for the next three years was officially handed over by trustee Jonathan Masters, with the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Christine Banks, also in attendance.

The handover, on Friday, October 12th, took place at their high tea event, celebrating National Kinship Carers Week.

“The aim of our charity is to provide practical and emotional support to kin families,” says Pauline Thornley, Project Co-ordinator of Kinship Carers.

“Children live with other family member for a variety of reasons, including addiction, mental health issues, bereavement and imprisonment and the carers step in to prevent the children being taken into Local Authority Care.

“Many of the carers we support are in their 60’s and 70’s and have long-term health conditions themselves, while others have had to give up work to look after young grandchildren.

“Typically the children struggle with issues around attachment, coping with the consequences of their parents’ addiction/mental health and the dynamics of living with grandparents or other adult family members.

“We have managed to build up various areas of expertise to meet the diverse needs of families, including advocating on their behalf and signposting to other appropriate support systems.

“We are able to provide support both on a one-to-one basis or in groups, via workshops and parenting courses.

“We also provide diversionary activities for the children, including sport and other healthy initiatives, taking them out during the school holidays and providing inter-generational activities for the whole family.

“It is so beneficial to try and keep children within their family environment, and we aim to build up their resilience whilst also getting both the young people and their carers together with others in a similar situation to share their experiences and create peer support.”

At the time of submitting the application for funding, 106 carers and 137 young people were registered with Kinship Carers, with 48 families receiving active support at any given time.

“Kinship Carers is an important charity which is providing a vital service in supporting carers and helping them through some very difficult family circumstances,” said Jonathan Masters, trustee with the Steve Morgan Foundation.

“Their role in the local community is shown not just by the valuable support activities which they provide, but also in being able to direct carers to additional practical assistance they may be entitled to receive from elsewhere.

“As well as a small and dedicated team which heads up the charity, volunteers also contribute in areas such as supporting new members, helping on trips, visiting families or arranging social events.

“Trustees from the Steve Morgan Foundation recognise the excellent work and influence of Kinship Carers, and have agreed to provide this three-year grant to help them continue to deliver such important services for the carers and children whom they support.”

PICTURED: Jonathan Masters is pictured handing over the cheque to Councillor Christine Banks, the Lord Mayor Of Liverpool, with Kinship Carers staff, Theresa O’Sullivan, Sue Atkinson, Pauline Thornley and Eve Dean.

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