Any kinship carer from Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, with children under 18 can join Kinship Active.

If you are a professional and would like to refer a kinship carer, or you are a kinship carer yourself, and would like to join, please complete this form

About Kinship Active

Kinship Active is a project run by Grandparents Plus in partnership with Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation and Teesside University. It runs from April 2019 to September 2021 and is funded by Sport England.

Acknowledging the multiple and complex needs of kinship families, we provide a supportive framework to help kinship carers as a community overcome both practical and emotional barriers to activity.

We work with kinship care families to increase activity in children and carers through intergenerational family activities, which are shown to have a positive impact on physical, cognitive and social health. (Young and Sharpe, 2016).

Support groups will be a place where kinship families can come together and feel free to discuss their most personal issues without judgement. They can commit to goals, share successes and challenges which will increase confidence, participation, resilience and motivation.

Project workers will provide one-to-one support for families – discussing the specific challenges they face, developing plans together, supporting participants to access specialist health services if required, and working towards achievable outcomes.

Cost is identified as a major barrier for families being physically active so local, low cost or free activities for families will be organised and promoted including: group rambles, discounted swimming sessions, days out, table tennis, activity cafés.

We work collaboratively with local agencies and use local assets such as parks and open spaces and increase social links with the wider community. 

Partner, Middlesbrough FC Foundation delivered a 10-week family activity programme and now offers a monthly carousel of activities at their state of the art Herlingshaw Centre. 

Activities will be as local as possible to avoid transport costs, drawing on local support and partnerships.

Our extensive experience working with kinship carers has told us that one-size-fits-all approaches don’t work alongside kinship carers complex family dynamics and circumstances.  We will extend our successful empowering approach to provide the right information and advice, build confidence and self-reliance, enable families to make informed choices and ask confidently for support when they need it.

Kinship Active is a 3-year project funded by Sport England for kinship carers in Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, but if you would like to discuss how Kinship Active could work for your local authority, please get in touch with our Director of Programmes, Kate O'Brien on [email protected]