Published 13 March 2023
West Dunbartonshire Kinship Carers celebrated the opening of their new community support centre with a £5000 house warming gift from the Council.
On the day that marks the beginning of Kinship Care Week, the group’s new facility in Erskine House, Clydebank, opened its doors to families for the first time.
Kinship Care – where children are raised by family members or friends because they are unable to live with their parents for a variety of reasons – was allocated extra support at the recent meeting of West Dunbartonshire Council.
One-off funding of £5000 was granted from the Council’s Cost Of Living Capital Fund to support the group’s activities and set-up costs involved with the new centre. They were also encouraged to submit a bid for additional funding for equipment for their new premises.
The Chair and Vice Chair of the Council’s Cost of Living Working Group Councillor Michelle McGinty and Councillor Clare Steel joined the families for a tour of the new facility and praised WD Kinship Carers for the vital work they do to offer support and advice.
Councillor McGinty said: “It’s a pleasure to join the families on the opening day of this fantastic new facility. It was fantastic to see and hear the excitement from the group about what it will mean for them.
“This space will be a friendly, welcoming place for kinship carers to drop in for a chat as well as free tea, coffee, food and heat. But most importantly it offers the chance to meet people who are in similar situations and find support.
“I know that supporting the mental health of kinship carers and the children in their care is a priority for the group, so their intention to use the new premises for events like yoga, meditation and training will have a positive impact on their wellbeing. There are also plans in place to offer children support through homework clubs as the difficulties they had previously faced will have had a detrimental effect on their learning journey.
“I know that there are over 92 families who are being supported by West Dunbartonshire Kinship Carers and I have encouraged the group to apply to the cost of living capital support fund to see if there is anything else the Council can do to support them with some of their ambitions for this facility to further help the families they support.
“I wish everyone involved with West Dunbartonshire Kinship Carers many years of happiness and friendship within these walls – and there is no better time to begin this new journey than during Kinship Care Week.”
Councillor Clare Steel, Vice Chair of the Council’s cost of living working group added: “The positive difference that carers make to the lives of looked after children and young people is priceless, but it’s important that we show they are valued by us.
“The Cost of Living Fund is there to give a helping hand to people in need and the community groups who seek to help them – and this fantastic new space will most definitely make a positive difference to the lives of kinship carers in our area.”
Micheleine Kane, Chair of WD Kinship Carers, said: “We are thrilled with our new centre and it was a special moment to see everyone so happy when the doors were opened for the first time.
“We are a community group providing direct peer support but we can’t do all this alone so we are grateful to the Council for this additional funding, which will allow us to settle in faster and plan more activities.”
To get involved with the group contact email@example.com or phone 07490 720123 for more information.