Zehra, along with her mother Meyrem and her brother and cousins, were featured alongside Tom Daley in an incredible programme for Comic Relief on Monday 14 March on BBC 1 at 9pm.
The programme highlighted the joys of kinship families, as well as the challenges they bring. Zehra’s blog documents their journey and offers a look behind the scenes at what they experienced.
Read Zehra’s blog part 1 if you missed it!
Part 2 begins with a visitor at the door…
By Zehra Sonerman
8th of February 2022
I woke up on the 8th of February 2022, my stomach filled with nervousness and excitement. Our first visitor was a lovely lady called Lisa who was from the Kinship charity, and she came bearing a plant and kind words. Next, came the cameramen and the BBC producers, who were also incredibly kind and supportive. I am very grateful to Chris, Nakita and Christina, the TV production cast, who have likely have met many celebrities, who treated us with the upmost respect and care.
Soon after the production team came, Tom Daley also joined us, and I was amazed by his wide, friendly smile and bursting down-to-earth energy. The first few words that I heard from him were, ‘I’m sorry that we have to meet like this. If the cameras weren’t on, I would’ve just approached you all as normal. What are all of your names?” He stated gleaming with admiration and respect at me and my whole family.
Before we could respond, his eyes brightened, “You must be Meyrem, it’s a pleasure to meet you,” he said turning to my mum, his smile widening as he looked at my mum with pure kindness.
Throughout the day, as filming continued, I was surprised at the humbleness and charming characteristics that Tom possessed he spoke with delicate care, yet passion whilst baking with my family, sitting down with us, making scooby-do’s, and going on walks with us.
I was in absolute awe as I heard my mother speak about the Kinship charity and her own personal experiences with kinship, being a kinship care child herself and later becoming a kinship carer, but most importantly I was appreciative. Appreciative that I was related to this phenomenal woman who had spent the last few years going to parliament to support kinship care children receive the therapy they need.
Appreciative that I was related to this woman who had been working with the Telegraph to raise awareness about the lack of living space that comes with being in a kinship family. Most importantly I was incredibly proud of her when I glanced over at Tom, the famous Olympic swimmer, whilst she was talking and saw that deep within his sparkling eyes, he understood kinship and just how important it was to raise awareness for all kinship carers.
Later that day as filming continued, another woman from the Kinship charity came and she was also incredibly sweet. As the day ended, me and my four younger siblings and mum huddled together on the sofas we have in our living room and spoke about our day.
“I can’t believe Tom Daley came over to our house.” I whispered to the family. “I can’t believe the BBC were here either.”
“I can’t believe how down-to-earth Tom is.” My mother said, smiling brightly. “But more importantly I can’t believe that Kinship is going to be gaining more awareness. That is the most important thing about today. I hope I represented them well, I hope I haven’t represented them negatively, they’re much more than that. They’re all strong and powerful and beautiful, amazing individuals.”
I stared back at my mother, and with every fibre and swelling blood vessel in my body, I was amazed, inspired, and stunned by the most beautiful, influential, and kind-hearted woman in the world that stared back at me.
“You could never represent kinship badly mum.” I responded to her, “You are the epitome of what it means to be a kinship carer. You are kind, selfless, supportive and comforting and I am very glad I have you.”
How you can support us
Support kinship families by watching Zehra and her family on Comic Relief on BBC1 on Friday 18th March.
Donate – if you can, please donate and help us to support kinship carers and their families.
Sign up – Be part of our community. If you’re not already signed up to our mailing list, you’re missing out on hearing about news and opportunities for kinship carers.