Wallsend Kinship Carers was set up in 2015 to provide relief and support initially for the Carers who could relax with each other as they had very similar experiences. WKC has been very successful at providing activities and entertainment for their cared for children too during school holidays. In order to raise larger amounts we had to become a full charity which happened last June.
At the end of 2019 we collaborated with Northumberland University to survey all NE Kinship Carers to ask what support they most needed. It was no great surprise that Days Out and Holidays were at the top of the list. Unfortunately with Lockdown we were unable to run a proper leafleting campaign by contacting surgeries, nurseries and schools. This survey has lead to our No 1 project to buy a caravan for our Kinship Carers to holiday in!
We will be able to organise days out to the caravan that will allow our cared for children to grow familiar with the holiday park so they can look forward to holidaying!
What we'll deliver:
- a Respite Caravan
- Additionally we may provide some funds for holiday activities
- Possibly funds to get to their destination
Why it's a great idea:
A desperately needed break for both exhausted grandparents and their cared for and damaged children. Opportunity to swim and play on the beach, a play area and other entertainment is laid on for the children on site .
'Normal' life is exhausting for grandparents with children that require almost constant attention. The Lockdown has just made it very much worse for the children who already have behavioural and attachment problems and many are on the autistic spectrum.
Attempting holidays is often a very fraught experience for Kinship Families, our children do not 'look forward' to any change to their routine. Lots of their toys have to be taken to comfort them. Travelling any distance was impossible. On site catering was often beyond their pocket, so food had to be carried too. Holidays always stressful.
We will organise some away-days before their actual holidays so the children can enjoy the beach and play area beforehand. So hopefully they will look forward to their real holiday.
Steps to get it done:
- Some day trips for the children to grow familiar with beach, playpark and the caravan itself.
- Visit booked April 17th, to view the park and some possible caravans, and locations
- if/when it looks as if we will reach our target, choose the right caravan for our needs and ideal location
Often Grandparents have had to give up their jobs in order to provide the level of care needed. So they are always struggling for funds. So often they have not been able to afford a proper holiday. To get away without the children would be bliss, but they know they can't do that as the children would be too distressed. Anything organised for the children always requires carers to go too.
One grandparent commented after a successful trip to the pantomime, they had enjoyed it even more than the children, as for two hours they could 'switch off'!
After almost a year of very little outdoor activity, that is if they even have a garden, the children will thoroughly enjoy playing on a beach or playground along with other children. They might even make holiday friends and allow grandparents to sit back a bit even relax for a while. The children will probably sleep soundly after time spent in the bracing North Sea air. This will produce great quality time for both children and their carers.