Through the Grandparents Plus Support Network, Grandparents Plus runs regular events to give grandparents and other full-time carers the opportunity to meet each other and to access information and explore solutions to problems. Thanks to the support of the Big Lottery Fund a national day for Network members is organised annually with smaller local events taking place around the country.
Christmas Card Competition
This year we are holding our first Christmas card competition. The winning entry will be used as our e-Christmas card this year and the winner will also receive a £20 Toys-R-Us voucher.Entry is open to all Grandparents Plus Support Network member’s children and voting will take place via our Facebook and Twitter accounts from midday on Tuesday 15 December.This year’s theme is Rudolph.As the big day is fast approaching we need your entries in as soon as possible. The closing date is 5pm on Monday 14 December.To enter please send the picture with your contact details, including the name and age of the artist, by post to:Christmas Card CompetitionGrandparents Plus18 Victoria Park Square,London, E2 9PFOr scan your entry and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Birmingham, 4 December 2015
Around 30 kinship carers joined us at The Signing Tree Conference Centre in Birmingham on 4 December. Kinship carer and support group leader Enza Smith shared her story before the group went on to attend workshops on ‘Understanding trauma and attachment in kinship children’ and ‘Anger management in kinship children’.
- Celebration Day, Saturday 12 September 2015
Once again we returned to Gulliver’s theme parks in Milton Keynes and Warrington for our annual Celebration Day. The day was attended by over 550 kinship carers and children.
- Cardiff, July 2015
Kinship carers joined us at the Park Inn hotel on 1 July. Kinship carers, Maria and Lee, shared their stories before the group went on to attend two workshops. ‘Anger management in kinship children’ and ‘Understanding trauma and attachment in kinship children’.
- Plymouth, March 2015
Around 40 kinship carers joined us at Devonport Guildhall in Plymouth on 24 March. Speakers at the event included kinship carers Gordon Rawlins and Pauline Davies, who shared their stories; Andrew Wallis, Lead Member of Children and Young People Cornwall, Nikki Carter, Family Plus Team Manager Cornwall and Lance Feldman, Family and Friends Foster Care Manager from Devon. Kinship carers also attended workshops on ‘Managing anger in kinship children’ and ‘Understanding trauma and attachment’. Workshops were run twice so kinship carers were able to attend both. Media coverage of the day can be found below.
- #timetocare Summit, July 2014
Over 50 kinship carers from across England and Wales attended a summit in Westminster with the Children’s Minister, Edward Timpson MP and other MPs and Peers to challenge the Government on their treatment of kinship carers who are bringing up children as a result of extremely difficult family circumstances.
More details of our #timetocare campaign can be found here.
- Celebration Days July 2014
Two celebration days took place which were attended by 300 kinship carers. Fun was had at Gulliver’s Land in Milton Keynes and Gulliver’s Kingdom in Matlock Bath, Derbyshire.
- London, March 2014
Around 50 kinship carers joined us at Toynbee Hall in Tower Hamlets on 27 March. Speakers at the event included kinship carer Robert Gilburt, who shared his story; Nigel Ellis, Executive Director from the Local Government Ombudsman; Livia Culiceanu, Practice Manager from the Recruitment and Assessment Team; and Kathy Nuza, Group Conferencing Service Manager, both from Tower Hamlets. Once again we held workshops on ‘Managing anger in kinship children’, ‘Managing your own emotions in raising your kinship children’ and ‘Understanding trauma and attachment’. Presentations from the day are available to download:
- Liverpool, December 2013
Just over 100 kinship carers and professionals from Liverpool and the North West attended this event held at Liverpool Football Club. Attendees could choose two out of six workshops to attend. The workshops were designed to help kinship carers with raising their kinship children and included topics on : ‘Anger Management in Kinship Children’; ‘Managing Your Own Emotions in Raising Your Kinship Children’; ‘Understanding Trauma and Attachment’; and ‘Drug and Alcohol Addiction: Breaking The Cycle For The Next Generation’. There was also a workshop on ‘Financial Support for Kinship Carers’ and another for professionals on ‘Sharing Best Practice to Support Kinship Carers in Times of Austerity’. Speakers and workshop leaders included Bernie Brown, Assistant Director of Children’s Services Liverpool, and Nigel Priestly from Ridley and Hall Solicitors.
- Celebration Days, July 2013
Two celebration days took place which were attended by 400 kinship carers. Fun was had at Gulliver’s Land in Milton Keynes and Gulliver’s World in Warrington
- Leeds, April 2013
Up to 90 kinship carers and professionals from across Yorkshire attended this event organised by Grandparents Plus in partnership with The Grandparents Association. The event included four workshops which were designed to help kinship carers with raising their kinship children: ‘Anger Management in Children’; ‘Managing Your Own Emotions In Raising Your Kinship Children’; ‘Dealing With Contact’; and Understanding Attachment’. There was also a workshop on ‘Financial Support for Kinship Carers’ and another for professionals on ‘Sharing Best Practice to Support Kinship Carers In Times of Austerity’. Speakers and workshop leaders included Steve Walker, the Deputy Director of Leeds Children’s Services and Nigel Priestly and Rebecca Chapman from Ridley and Hall Solicitors.
- Celebration Day 2012
Nearly 200 kinship carers and their children had a fun day out at Gulliver’s Land, near Milton Keynes in a celebration to end our Month of Action.
- Kinship Carers’ Summit 2012
40 kinship carers were brought together with local and national politicians in Westminster, London. The summit was held on behalf of the Kinship Care Alliance as part of the Month of Action on Kinship care. The summit was attended by Tim Loughton MP, then Minister for Children and Families, and Cllr David Simmonds, Chair of the LGA Children and Young Peoples Board, as well as several council members with responsibility for children’s services.
- Manchester, January 2012
Around 60 kinship carers and professionals from across the north west attended this event, organised with the Valuing Older People Team from Manchester City Council. Workshops included the legal options for kinship carers, benefits advice, campaigning skills and what local authorities should be doing regarding kinship care policies.
- Newcastle, June 2011
Grandparents Plus organised an event in partnership with Newcastle Props, Sunderland More Than Grandparents, Escape Blyth, Families First Middlesbrough and Bridges Stockton. Around 50 family and friends carers and professionals gathered at the Assembly Rooms in central Newcastle, with speakers including top solicitor Nigel Priestley from Ridley and Hall, Meg Boustead, Head of Safeguarding at Sunderland Social Services and Kay Duffie, Chair of the North East Carers Forum.
- National Day 2010
In October 2010 over 120 carers and their children helped launch a new campaign,
‘What if we said no?’, in London. Network members met with MPs and other speakers and heard personal stories from grandparent carers while the children enjoyed a special party, which helped to give our Network members some respite from their caring duties.
You can take a look at some photos of the day on our Facebook page here
Read more about the event in our Newsletter here
Support the ‘What if we said no?’ campaign here
- London, September 2010
London event organised with Adfam, which was attended by around 50 family and friends carers and professionals.
- National Day 2009
In October 2009 we worked with our partners in the Kinship Care Alliance to organise a lobby of parliament for members of our Network. Click here for more information.
- Tower Hamlets, London, May 2009
Tower Hamlets event, held at the Brady Centre in Whitechapel, east London.
- Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, February 2009
Organised in partnership with Hetty’s.
- The Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Network launch event took place in Liverpool on 7 March 2008, where130 grandparents called for a universal non-means tested benefit to be paid for each child being raised by a grandparent.
We also hold research seminars and stakeholder events.