Our kinship community continues to be hit hard by the impact of coronavirus. We’re seeing an increasing need for emotional and bereavement support as the devastation of this epidemic takes hold. We know you are also starting to get concerned about the impact on your families of extended lockdown and in particular the impact of school closures, especially on children who have already experienced trauma and may have additional needs.
This week we heard from a kinship carer who is really worried about her grandson who suffers from anxiety, which has been made a lot worse by his worries that she will get coronavirus. She is trying to help him by staying in and reassuring him as much as possible, but he is terrified that she will become ill. We have included a link to Government guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and well-being, which may be helpful if you are in a similar position.
We are continuing to get your stories highlighted in the media. When ITN News got in touch wanting to highlight some of the untold stories around coronavirus, many of you quickly stepped in to tell yours – we are really grateful to all who contributed. Special thanks to all who appeared and spoke out in the film, Wendy, Willow, Callum, Sandra, Karen, Gerald, and Harvey. You can watch their stories here.
Our teams have been working hard to get virtual support groups up and running across the country and some are now meeting in the evenings when the children are in bed. We know that for many of you, getting to grips with new video conferencing technology like Zoom is daunting, so our project workers are on hand to help talk support group leaders and attendees through setting up and dialing into meetings. Guidance on using digital communication tools can be found here.
One of our project workers Sam, has helped three families in Southwark receive hot meal deliveries. One carer was struggling because her husband is not working due to coronavirus. They were already severely overcrowded with seven of them living on top of each other in a two-bedroom home. The additional stress of a loss of income was taking its toll. She said the meals have made such a difference, “like a little ray of sunshine in her week and for one day just one less thing to have to manage”.
Stay safe everyone and please keep your stories coming in so we can continue to shine a light on your experiences and push for change. To ‘Tell us your story’ please fill out our online form or email firstname.lastname@example.org.