My name is Nicola and I stumbled across Kinship Carers UK three years into my journey as a kinship carer, I had tried various places for support, working full time and caring for a child, it was difficult to speak to other organisations during working hours. I had all but given up. On the off chance that someone would help me I rang the number for Kinship Carers UK and I remember it like it was yesterday.
It was a week day I had been working since 5.30am, I had pick up my grandson from school, cooked for the family, we did homework, and my grandson had been making me smile reading jokes from his new joke book. He’s a very funny little boy. Bed time came at 7pm, safely tucked up in bed, I did a little housework and like every night before, tired, I sat at the computer searching, hoping that someone could help me, tears running down my face as I was met with “are office hours are” or “our fee is”. I work full time! I can’t ring in office hours! I can’t afford the fees! Then I rang kinship Carers UK expecting to be met with the same old same old. Boy was I wrong, a kind lady called Enza answered the phone at around 8.30pm after calming me down, she made me realise I’m not on my own, and I am an amazing person for what I do. She gave me actual practical advice for my personal situation, not something read off a script sheet. We were on the phone for around an hour we even laugh, which at that moment in my life I hadn’t done for a very long time.
Most of all someone listened. My biggest struggle as a kinship carer is not being listened to. Being a kinship carer is a lonely place but something that is equally rewarding. I still rely on Kinship Carers UK today, in fact it’s my first port of call. I know they are a charity and I know they can only do so much. When they asked me to write a little about how they helped me I thought nothing I say can repay what they have done for me, but I really do hope that Kinship Carers UK grow, and have the manpower and funds to help others like me. I’m one of many and they picked me up when I thought I couldn’t stand and for that I owe them my grandson’s happiness when he has a smile on his face each morning and tells me he loves me each night.
Thank you so much Kinship Carers UK