Kinship support for local families at heart of project

Launch of the Kinship Care Programme
Launch of the Kinship Care Programme

The Big Hearts Community Trust is looking for more local families to attend its Kinship Care After School Club in the coming year.

The pilot of the after school club, in partnership with kinship care charity Mentor, ran for eight weeks at the end of 2015. Twenty-six children attended on a weekly basis with ages ranging from 15 months to 16 years.

Eight families from Midlothian attended the club on a weekly basis and will continue to do so.

The club is for the whole family to attend and features a host of arts and crafts, games and activities for both kids and carers. A family meal is provided, allowing the families to spend some important time together whilst trying new foods.

The club offers opportunities for carers to meet and share experiences.

The After School Club has resumed in 2016 for the existing families as well as for a whole new group of families. Both groups will run fortnightly on Tuesday evenings.

Since launching the kinship care programme and after school club with Big Hearts, Mentor Scotland has seen a significant increase in families engaging with their crucial support services.

Kinship care families across the Lothians can register their interest or find out more information by emailing Big Hearts and Mentor are especially keen to hear from kinship families who currently access little support or who are new to kinship care.

Big Hearts’ general manager Caryn Kerr said: “The initial pilot was a great success and we are delighted to be providing valuable support to both carers and young people. We are now able to accommodate more families than ever and we are determined to ensure the programme will continue to grow throughout 2016.”

Heather McVeigh, the Scotland director of Mentor, added: “The after school club has been a great success and there has been a resounding demand from the carers and children for the club to continue and we are delighted that this is now happening.”