Following the recent good news that the Relative Experience project will be funded for a further three years, BBC Radio Newcastle did a week-long feature on the issues faced by kinship carers cumulating in a live phone-in show which gave grandparents and other family members raising a relative’s child the chance to talk about their situation.
The switchboard at Radio Newcastle was overwhelmed by the number of calls that came through – kinship carers are often hidden and do not have many opportunities to be heard.
The Relative Experience project was mentioned constantly throughout the week, detailing the work we are doing in the North East. Look North (the local TV news) also did a three minute feature of the work one of our befriending volunteers has carried out with a kinship carer, highlighting the positive effect the befriending service had on the kinship carer’s life.
BBC news cameras followed the Relative Experience staff, volunteers and a kinship carer as we went to the Houses of Parliament in March to mark the end of the pilot project. We were taking part in an event aimed at presenting the finding of our evaluation to key decision makers, including Minister for Children and Families, Edward Timpson MP. Sheila, one of our volunteers, spoke during the event about her experiences, as did kinship carer Alice. It really did bring home how the power of the befriending relationship can change lives and was a wonderful experience for us all.
We are all excited about the ‘scale-up’ funding and are looking forward to taking the work of the Relative Experience Project further afield to a wider audience.
Posted by Jenny Mckenna