Massive windfall for Derry charity

The offices of Kinship Care at Carlisle Road. INLS0814-116KM
The offices of Kinship Care at Carlisle Road. INLS0814-116KM

A Derry charity which works with children being cared for by relatives other than their parents has just been awarded a huge funding boost from the Big Lottery Fund.

Kinship Care which was founded by Derry woman Jacqueline Williamson, now has several bases across the North as well as a support centre on Carlisle Road in the city.

It has now been announced that the charity will benefit from a £669,298 grant from the Big Lottery through Buttle UK. The money has been earmarked for the five-year Kinnections project, which will support children across the North West, and in other parts of the North, who are being cared for by wider family and friends.

Buttle work with Kinship Care NI to provide a range of support for children and their carers including essential household items, support groups and activities.

Jacqueline Williamson, chief executive of Kinship Care NI said: “This project will keep children in their own families and communities. Children will get the opportunities to meet other children living in the same situation, it will allow kinship carers to share experiences, develop friendships, and give them a voice.”

Gerri McAndrew, chief executive of Buttle UK, said: “Through the Kinnections project we can add to Kinship Care NI’s on the ground support network by providing essential items that can make a big difference. A lot of kinship carers are grandparents who are struggling on a pension when they take on the responsibility of a child and suddenly have to budget even further. So if we can help with unexpected expenditures such as a new washing machine when the old one has broken down, or a bed for the child, it can make a real difference.”

In a separate funding boost the Rural Area Partnership in Derry Limited (RAPID) also received £700,000 to help families in areas including Learmount, Eglinton, Lettershandoney, Newbuildings and Strathfoyle to increase skills and confidence and give their children the best possible start in life.