Football and fun for kinship carers

Big hearts kinship family day-3

A fun day at Tynecastle Stadium attracted Scotland's largest ever gathering of kinship carers

23rd October 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

The largest gathering of kinship carers took place in Edinburgh this week.

More than 300 adults and children took part in a host of free activities at Tynecastle Stadium on Monday (23 October): including alpaca and owl petting, music tuition, football games and stadium tours.

A marketplace of 20 charities and local organisations provided information on support services available to carers within the community.

This annual event celebrates three years of Big Hearts’ Kinship Care programme run, which is run in partnership with Mentor Scotland. The project uses the power of football to raise awareness of kinship care and to reach out to families in need of support.

Since 2015, Big Hearts have provided free comprehensive support to adults and young people living in a kinship care setting – a form of care often under-represented which concerns a third of looked after children in Scotland. Due to the nature of these arrangements, kinship care families often face practical and emotional challenges which make them most at risk of social isolation.

Craig Wilson, Big Hearts’ general manager, said: “We launched the Kinship Care programme three years ago to raise awareness of kinship care and ensure the most vulnerable of these families can access the support they need. To date we have engaged with over 200 families and developed a wide range of free support to help young people and adult carers thrive and feel more confident as a family.

“Today we’ve hosted our fourth Kinship family Day at Tynecastle Park and it has been fantastic to see close to 15 new and hidden kinship care families come forward to find out more about the support available, whilst enjoying a fun-filled day across the stadium.”

Heather McVeigh, director at Mentor Scotland, said: “As lead partner of Big Hearts’ Kinship Care programme, we are delighted to be here today to celebrate our fourth Kinship Care Family Day together. Our close work with Big Hearts over the past three years has enabled to significantly raise awareness of kinship care across Edinburgh and reach out to more families who need support. We are excited to see what the future of our partnership holds.”