Relative Experience Project

Grandparents Plus is working in partnership with two leading family charities, Family Lives and the Family and Childcare Trust, to support kinship carers in North East England through the Relative Experience Project.

Funded by the Big Lottery Fund Silver Dreams Fund, the Relative Experience Project supports kinship carers in all 12 local authority areas across the North East from Berwick to Redcar.

The Relative Experience Project can support kinship carers with the following:

Volunteer befriending service

“My befriender saved my life. I have now trained as a befriender to support other kinship carers” Grandmother supported by Relative Experience.

We have a team of trained and dedicated volunteer befrienders, often kinship carers themselves, who can provide a listening ear. Our volunteers offer someone to offload to, who will listen in a non-judgemental way to help kinship carers find the confidence to cope with the problems they face. On a practical level they also offer basic information, including the Kinship Care Guide for England, and referrals to the Grandparents Plus advice service and other local and national sources of help.

Kinship Care Support Group

“The support group gives me the chance to have some ‘me’ time” Grandmother supported by Relative Experience.

We work with kinship carers who want to organise local support groups so that members can share information and concerns, campaign for change or simply spend time together. Our groups are spread across the North East, and Grandparents Plus also maintains a list of groups in other regions.


Campaigning for Change

We want to support kinship carers to speak out, helping to raise awareness and challenge policy and practice both locally and nationally.

If you live in the North East and are interested in getting involved in the Project please contact the Project Manager, Dawn Jenkins on 0191 257 2504 or email

You can read more about the project at the dedicated blog here.


Silver Dreams & Partners Logo update april 2014