Families in many parts of Scotland are to benefit from the latest grants from our Investing in Communities fund
Over the next three years 500 families across three regions will have access to a range of targeted support, thanks to an award of £488,614 to The Mentor Foundation (UK). The award means that they can continue supporting kinship carers in Edinburgh and East Lothian for another three years and expand their work into Fife. The project will help people just like Fay Cuthill, 68 and her husband, Andy.
Fay and Andy have had kinship care of their grandchildren; Layla (16) and Arran (15) for six years after their mother become unable to look after them due to ill health. Fay said, ‘The Mentor Foundation has opened so many doors for us and made our family life so much easier. We’ve had the chance to go on so many courses from understanding homework, computing classes, understanding brain development and first aid. The kids are not left out either and they’ve gone on residential trips and had Christmas parties. Every month on a Friday night there’s a get together of kinship carers and the children and it’s really helped everyone to bond together.
‘If we hadn’t been helped by Mentor UK there’s a really good chance that things would be pretty much in the air. They’ve taught us how to cope and given us a constant supply of emotional and financial advice.
‘What makes Mentor UK special is that they are as equally involved with the children as the carers and I’ve come to appreciate that if the kids are happy there’s a very good chance that the carers will be happy too.’
Scotland Director, Heather McVeigh, said: “I am so grateful to the Big Lottery Fund for providing us with this opportunity to continue to provide hands on support to kinship families. By building on their knowledge and skills as well as empowering carers and the children in their care to thrive, we have witnessed the growth of strong, resilient and happy families. This funding, over the next three years, will enable us to build on this work, enhance our youth provision as well as raising kinship care to the public arena.”