By Paula Emsley

Back in 2013 social services asked me to take on care for my 6-month old granddaughter as her birth mother had mental health issues. I took her on, and after about a year or so, I started going to an SGO support group run by my local Council.

Learning from others

In need of support and people to talk to, I tried to go as often as I could. I loved listening to other people’s stories and found out loads of information and about thing I was entitled to that I hadn’t heard about. Unfortunately, with a young baby and no crèche facilities, I couldn’t always make the group.

After a lot of thought I decided to try and set up a local support group myself, which I finally did through local help and support. The Grandparents Support Group was set up in March 2016, meets on Wednesdays 12.30-2.30pm, and provides a crèche, which is very important to a lot of kinship carers.

The group helps us let off steam

We have 10 regular members, including myself, and meet every Wednesday during term time. For the school holidays we all plan outings together with the grandchildren. We love meeting up, chatting, and seeing the children together having fun. The group helps us let off steam, anger and hurt, as well as all the positive experiences we’ve had.

If people are reading this and wanting peer support, please consider starting your own support group; it will help others as well as you. We are all in the same situation, but have different stories to tell, and lots to learn.