SUPPORT FOR GRANDPARENT CARERS
NEW poll findings from
YouGov commissioned by charities Grandparents Plus, The Family and
Parenting Institute and Family Lives show huge support for better
financial and practical help for grandparents raising children
because their parents can't look after them.
74% of adults in the North of England think grandparents and other
relatives bringing up a child should receive practical help from
their local Council, and 63% think they should receive a financial
allowance. This rises to 75% of adults who think grandparents should
get a financial allowance if they are on a low income. 76% think
they should receive similar support to foster carers.
Local grandmother Sandra Ingham from Leyland has been bringing up
her grandson, now 16, for 12 years with no support from the local
authority. She says:- "We've really struggled to make
sure my grandson can have the opportunities other children take for
granted." Sandra has to manage on a low income and finds
Christmas and birthdays especially difficult. "I used to
borrow to buy him presents but found I couldn't pay the money back
so now I sell jewellery instead."
When he first came to live with her he had behavioural problems and
would go round the house slamming doors, but he soon settled down.
"Now he's 16, I'm so proud that he's a good lad. He's going to
college and doesn't hang round street corners."
Sandra has 2 other grandsons in foster care 30 miles away.
"We used to have weekly contact and I struggled to find things
to do with the three boys with little money. The boys in foster care
were well provided for but would have major tantrums and even
wrecked my house. Two years ago social services said they would give
me a small allowance to help with the cost of contact but it never
happened. The days for contact instead of being a pleasure became so
Charity Grandparents Plus is campaigning for better support for
grandparents and other relatives bringing up children when parents
cannot look after them, for example because a parent has died or is
seriously ill, or because they are misusing drugs or alcohol.
Grandparents Plus own research shows that just 33% of family members
who are bringing up a child because their parents can't look after
them get financial assistance from their Council, and 68% of carers
who asked their Council for help still don't get the support they
Sam Smethers, Grandparents Plus chief executive says:- "It's
great that people in the North West are backing grandparent carers.
They are already treated as second class carers because they are not
entitled to similar support to foster carers or to parental leave
when they take on care of children. We're calling on local
authorities to give kinship carers like Sandra, and the children
they are raising, the support they need. All too often kinship
carers are left to bring up vulnerable children without any
financial or practical help from their Council. It is time for
local authorities and central government to recognise and support
the vital role kinship carers play in keeping children out of care
because it is both better for children and more cost-effective for
In the UK there are an estimated 200,000 kinship carers –
grandparents and other family members -bringing up between 200,000
and 300,000 children because parents cannot look after them.
Research shows that a high proportion experience poverty, isolation
and lack of support.
STAR SAM FAIERS AT BIRKENHEAD BOOK SIGNING
TOWIE favourite and tabloid
superstar Sam Faiers is visiting Birkenhead to personally sign
copies of her brand new book. The star of ITV2's The Only Way
Is Essex (TOWIE) will be at W H Smith in The Grange and Pyramids
Shopping Centre on Saturday, 17 November 2012 and a queue of fans is
expected to welcome the popular television celebrity.
Sam, 21, who is also a model and runs a successful fashion boutique
called Minnie's with her sister Billie who also stars in the show,
said:- "I am a huge fan of Liverpool and have enjoyed some
terrific times there with friends and family. But coming to
Birkenhead is a first for me so I am really looking forward to
visiting the town and sharing my new book with more people."
BAFTA winning reality TV show The Only Way is Essex has been a
runaway success and propelled Sam and her fellow cast members,
including boyfriend Joey Essex, into the limelight. The show,
set mainly in Brentwood, Essex, depicts real people and their lives
but the situations they are filmed in are frequently set up for the
camera. The series is known for its celebration of fake tans, lash
extensions and young people keeping it 'reem'.
Derek Millar, Commercial Director for The Grange and Pyramids
Shopping Centre, said:- "We are very pleased and excited to
hear that Sam's first trip to Birkenhead will involve a book signing
at The Grange and Pyramids Shopping Centre. We have a history
of attracting big names here such as Paul O'Grady and Katie Price
and Sam is very high profile. She is a big name and I feel
sure she will draw a fantastic crowd so I am delighted W H Smith has
been able to secure such a prominent celebrity to join us for what
promises to be a great day out for her army of fans."
Darren Brockbank, Store Manager of WH Smith, agreed with Derek and
added:- "It is great for us to be able to offer the people of
Birkenhead an opportunity to come and meet celebrities like Sam and
have a book personally signed by them. I am very grateful to
both her team and W H Smith for making this possible. I have no
doubt we are going to have a bumper sales day on Saturday but it is
also nice to see the enjoyment our customers get out of celebrity
events like this."
In her new book, Living Life The Essex Way: TOWIE & Me, Sam shares
her secrets to becoming a true TOWIE, lifting the lid on the show
and her cast members but also giving how-to advice on beauty,
fashion, men, dating, diet and tips on the best nightclubs and
The book aims to offer a unique glimpse into her life and fans will
be able to read all about her relationships with other cast members
and the problems of overnight fame. It also now includes a
brand new chapter on her relationship with Joey Essex and what
happened when they went back to Russell Brand's house after a night
The first hardback edition of the book had 17 weeks in the top 10
best seller list. Sam Faiers will be signing copies of her new
book at WH Smith in The Grange and Pyramids Shopping Centre in
Birkenhead from 3.30pm.
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