Kinship support in Dalkeith thanks to coal funding boost

Bob Young, Scottish Trustee of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust with Lynda Maguire and Terry Harkins of Dalkeith Midlothian Kinship Carers
Bob Young, Scottish Trustee of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust with Lynda Maguire and Terry Harkins of Dalkeith Midlothian Kinship Carers

Kinship carers in Dalkeith are in for a major boost following a £3,000 award to their peer support group by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust.

Kinship carers take care of relatives’ children when they are no longer able to live with their natural parents. Children can be established with kinship carers through neglect, abuse, parental substance abuse or bereavement, and a significant number of kinship children suffer associated psychological impact as a result.

Now Dalkeith Midlothian Kinship Carers, who have 50 carers looking after 77 children, will use the Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT)award to stage a series of support meetings throughout the year. Lynda Maguire from the carers group said: “We are extremely grateful to the CRT for backing our plans to provide a wider range of peer support.

“We will now be able to hire appropriate premises for our meetings and we plan to engage expert speakers who can give us advice on the complex physical and psychological conditions which affect many of the children in our care.”

Terry Harkins, the group’s secretary and treasurer, said: “Isolation is a big issue for many of our carers who may well have had their lives turned upside down by suddenly having to look after a relative’s child.”

Bob Young, Scottish Trustee of the CRT said: “Kinship Carers do a fantastic job looking after the children of a loved one or family member, often at great cost to themselves.

“We are delighted to be able to help them support each other when they need it most.”