Kinship Care Initiative

Kinship_AlistairWith its sights set on raising £3 million in the next five years, the Trades House of Glasgow has launched the Kinship Care Initiative (today 13 Oct '15), to help children and young people who are looked after by their extended family because their parents are unable to do so for various reasons. It is kicking off with £25,000 already committed to its funds thanks to a donation from the Trades House, itself a registered charity, which has been matched by other pledged donations.

The new Trades House of Glasgow Kinship Care Initiative has been designed to provide greater opportunities for these young people, which will help them get a better start in life and go on and reach their full potential physically, emotionally and intellectually, becoming more active citizens in Glasgow. Funds will be used to provide grants, allowing them to participate in outdoor activities and educational programmes, building their characters and enhancing their job opportunities.

Sir Michael Bond, who was knighted for his services to medicine in 1995, has been appointed Chairman of the Kinship Care Initiative Appeal and Dr Alistair Dorward, Collector Nominate of the Trades House, is Chairman of the Grants Committee.

Commenting on the appeal, Sir Michael said: "In Glasgow, we have more than 2000 children and young people currently being looked after full time by kinship carers - that's grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings and extended family. While social services provide some support, these and others cared under informal family arrangements need more help to enable them to cope.

"Those in kinship care often miss out on experiences that others take for granted growing up and, due to the often chaotic upbringing throughout their formative years coupled with financial constraints, they can present many problems. Through no fault of their own, they become the most vulnerable children in our society with very low self-esteem. Quite simply, they need our support."

Bishop Idris Jones, Deacon Convener of the Trades of Glasgow said: "To ensure that funds are utilised effectively, our Kinship Care Initiative will see us working closely with those who already provide essential support through apprenticeships, outdoor pursuits and mentoring. As our membership within Trades House already includes a wealth of experience working with underprivileged groups across the City, our own people will also provide invaluable mentoring and employment advice."

The Trades House will work closely with organisations providing support services, especially the Outdoor Resource Centre where highly qualified staff deliver a wide range of activities including canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking, white water rafting and coastal sailing. These experiences can promote specific learning outcomes, such as problem solving or improved resilience and £20,000 will give 32 young people an opportunity to take part in this scheme.

As well as seeking support from charitable trusts and donations, while calling on workplaces to make the Kinship Care Initiative their charity of the year, several fundraising events are planned for the year ahead. People can find out more about how to contribute to the appeal at: www.tradeshouse.org.uk/kinship.