Carers support group offered free home

PUBLISHED: 12:00 02 January 2020

Kinship carers offered new home in Nailsea.

Kinship carers offered new home in Nailsea.

Archant

A group which supports people caring for children who cannot live with their parents has been given a base in Nailsea.

Number 65, in High Street, has given Nailsea Kinship carers free space to meet so they can support each other and meet other families in the area.

Kinship carers are family and friends who step in to raise children who are not able to live with their parents.

There are around 400 children living in kinship families in North Somerset.

Many carers end up with little or no support, and they can face poverty and isolation as they struggle to raise children who often have emotional or behavioural difficulties having suffered neglect, abuse and a chaotic early life.

Support groups are a vital space for kinship carers to be able to meet others who are in the same situation as themselves, who face the same challenges, and who can support each other.

Kishma Smithurst, volunteer development manager, said: "The use of a free room will be a lifeline for kinship carers in Nailsea.

"One of the barriers for support groups is often cost, so this is the first step in getting a group up and running.

"We're incredibly grateful to 65 High Street for their offer.

"The group will be run by volunteers, and the first person we're looking to find will be a support group leader who will be trained and supported by Grandparents Plus."

Kinship carers often have to give up their jobs to take in the children.

Other kinship carers are retired and trying to raise children on a pension.

Without entitlement to financial support, they end up plunged into poverty - they cannot afford beds, school uniforms or activities and can become reliant on food banks.

A survey carried out by charity Grandparents Plus found 89 per cent of kinship carers did not get the emotional support they needed when the child moved in, and 84 per cent did not get the advice and information they required.

Anyone interested in getting involved with the group can contact Kishma at volunteer@grandparentsplus.org.uk or call 02089 818001.

Kinship carers can access Grandparents Plus' independent advice service by logging on to www.grandparentsplus.org.uk

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