Club News

Big Hearts Kinship Care after School Club returns

15th January 2016

More kinship families than ever will be able to attend 2016 After School Club.

Big Hearts is delighted to announce the return of the hugely successful Kinship Care After School Club and, in 2016, more Kinship families than ever will be able to attend. 

The pilot of the After School Club, in partnership with Kinship Care charity Mentor, ran for 8 weeks from October to December 2015 and had 26 children attending weekly with ages ranging from 15 months to 16 years. 

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 also provided, allowing the families to spend some important time together whilst trying new foods. Importantly, the club provides opportunities for carers to meet, gather information and share the various challenges they can face. 

This month, the After School Club will kick off again for the existing group of 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 and we are committed to encouraging this further throughout 2016. 

Kinship Care families throughout Edinburgh and the surrounding areas can register their interest or find out more information by emailing kinship@bighearts.org.uk. 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 Community Trust’s General Manager, Caryn Kerr said: “We are delighted to be re-starting the after school club in January. 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 Children’s Charity, Mentor, explained: “The afterschool 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.” 

“Big Hearts Community Trust has helped to raise the profile of kinship care which in turn has brought forward many hidden carers who are now accessing support from Mentor as well as other appropriate organisations. The promotion is also helping to reduce the stigma around kinship care and highlights the value in providing dedicated support to the children of our future.” 

Feedback from Carers and Young People: 

“Such a fantastic opportunity for us and the kids – thanks so much it has really made a difference.” (carer from Edinburgh) 

“It is fun, everything is fun, I feel like I can be myself and the stuff we do is fun.” (child, aged 8) 

“It is amazing because I have fun, we play some of my favourite games and I have made good friends.” (child, 11) 

“I want to come back next term it is fun to meet new friends, play new games and it’s just really fun in general.” (child, 9)