National charity Grandparents Plus has been awarded £250,000 by players of People's Postcode Lottery to support some of the country's most vulnerable families.
The funding will be used to help 'kinship carers' – family and friends who've taken on care of children when their parents can't look after them. It will also enable the charity to reach, and support, more kinship carers through its advice line and support network, which already provides thousands of people with essential support every year.
There are 300,000 children being raised by grandparents and other family members in the UK because their parents are unable to – often due to bereavement, serious illness, drug and alcohol misuse, and imprisonment. Kinship carers step in to save children from going into care, but often face isolation and are left to struggle alone, frequently without any financial or practical support from local authorities.
Lucy Peake, Chief Executive of Grandparents Plus, said, "As a small national charity working to support a large, and often invisible, group of kinship carers, this funding from players of People's Postcode Lottery will be transformational and enable us to reach and support more kinship carers and their families. Becoming a kinship carer is something that could happen to anyone - often suddenly - and too many carers don't know who they can turn to for help."
Pam Kadir, kinship carer to her grandchildren, said, "Grandparents Plus has helped me in so many ways and it's wonderful news that they have funding to reach more people in my situation.
"It's much tougher bringing up my grandchildren than it was my own child, but knowing Grandparents Plus is at the end of the phone has made such a difference to our lives."
Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People's Postcode Lottery, said, "We are delighted that players of People's Postcode Lottery are able to support Grandparents Plus with this funding pot of £250,000. Grandparents Plus offers such valuable support to those who become kinship carers and through this funding, even more help will be provided to those in need."
The funding will allow for more kinship carers to access support and information from the Grandparents Plus Support Network and Advice Service. If you are caring for a relative's or friend's child, you can call Grandparents Plus on 0300 123 7015. Phone lines are open Monday to Friday from 10am to 3pm.