Family & Friends - Kinship Milton Keynes

Serving Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire

© Family & Friends - Kinship Milton Keynes formerly known as Grandparents’ Support Group 2012 - 2022                                                                    

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Past News & Events > Grandparents (Kinship) Support Group: Report for the Second Half of the Year - 2016 - 2017

Christmas always seems to arrive and as usual, I am still not organised!  It was so much so this year that we didn’t have our usual Christmas activities; no craft and no Christmas Lunch.  It wasn’t much of a problem as we agreed to have our Christmas Lunch at the end of January, to give us something to look forward to.

In January, we heard that our contact Annie Simpson from the Local Authority, who has visited the group on several occasions, was moving to new employment with a private agency in fostering.  She thanked us and explained that Nicola Cann would be taking over from her in March.

January and February are short days and short months and so with only a few weeks at school it was soon half term.  And so to Easter…

With the weather so bad this year, we were unable to have our usual get-together over the Easter Break.  We sincerely hope that we can arrange something during the summer months.

On 10th May, Phil Warburton, Technology Help Coordinator from MK Age UK, visited us with a new service being offered tryb4ubuy.

Are you struggling with technology or have you ever wondered, “Do I need a computer or a tablet?” Or “Should I install Windows 10?”  If so, then you should visit Phil and his team at Age UK MK.  You can drop in and they will try and help or you can book an appointment and they will visit you at home.  They also offer training.

On 14th June, Nicola Cann (Annie Simpson's replacement) visited the group.  Over the years, we have had many visits from the Local Authority and we are always encouraged by them.  Nicola was pleased to have met with us and could see that some of our members would benefit from additional support, not just from the group but also from more specialised support.  After Nicola visited us, we received an invitation to visit the Fostering Team at Saxon Court, Milton Keynes, this August to discuss the Grandparents (Kinship) Support Group/Kinship.  An update will follow in the next half of the year.

On 6th July, an event was run by Grandparents Plus in Leicester called “Raising Kinship Children Masterclass.”  Five of our group’s members attended.  The masterclass, created especially for kinship carers, was presented by Dr Karen Treisman.  She has experience of working with kinship carers and their children and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise. Those who attended gained a deeper understanding of their kinship child's emotions and behaviours and felt that they were now more able to raise confident, happy and resilient kinship children.  They left the masterclass with a range of useful tips and practical tools.

On 12th July, we had a visit from Fiona Peacock BACP Senior Accredited Counsellor Certified Theraplay® Therapist, Trainer & Supervisor.

Fiona told us about Theraplay® which is used with children who have experienced trauma and attachment issues.  This is a subject which we, as kinship carers, are becoming very familiar with.  Fiona spent the morning explaining the importance of attachment, of how we are born with no intelligence, of how the first few months are about learning to survive.  She talked about the importance of nurturing and how sometimes the lack of it could be why our children perceive and deal with situations differently because of the experiences they have received.  

Some useful books were suggested during the morning:

During the year, we also make a contact at Great Linford Council where they published an article about the group.  We also started to receive their monthly newsletter, which advertises activities in which we are all welcome to participate, even though we are not local to them.  Its a great list of summer activities.  Click here to see it.

We also had an article about our group published in various local media.  This included:

New members have visited the group this year.  This encourages the group, especially as some return more than once and so, hopefully, we are still doing something right.  There has also been contact via email, and we keep in-touch with people, advising them of both group and national events.

We look forward to September 2016 as we celebrate 10 years of the group being in Milton Keynes.

The group will return on September 13th 2016.

We plan a 'one off' meeting for those who are unable to attend the Tuesday mornings at a centralised location - please contact us for more details.