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Kinship Carers Hop Over the Channel

Kinship Carers project is a city wide project based in the Ellergreen Community Centre, supporting young people who are unable to live with their parents for a variety of reasons, and are being brought up by another family member, mainly grandparents.

Pauline from Kinship Carers told Alt Valley Voice about a recent trip abroad:

“Due to a generous anonymous donor we were able to take a group of our young people to France. While part funded by our donor, the rest was raised by our committed families through a fun social event. Our group of young people, 5 males and 5 females, were brought together for some pre-residential workshops to enable them to build relationships and feel comfortable with each other.

‘Starting very early, we set off on an adventure of a lifetime, with a group of young people bursting with excitement at being given a unique opportunity to travel with their peers and participate in a wide range of new and exciting activities. For some this was the first time that they had been away from Liverpool, let alone out of the country! The group were all at different starting points and had varying needs, however, they supported each other throughout, communicating well and making new found friendships.

‘After 12 hours travelling, we arrived at the grand Chateau De Chantereine, a 17th century castle, nestled in the heart of the picturesque town of Criel-sur-Mer, an old fishing village in Upper Normandy. The young people were amazed that they were staying in such a grand place with unbelievable grounds – one person commented: ‘It’s like a mansion!’

‘After such a long drive, they settled down to some traditional French cuisine, which they had throughout their trip, trying frogs legs, mussels and snails; at first were very resistant to trying new foods, but they truly immersed themselves in the French culture, with many enjoying their new cuisine!

‘The theme of our visit was WW1, so we visited Wellington Quarry in Arras – a thought provoking experiential visit to the medieval quarries where they hid 28,000 British soldiers before launching an attack. We then had an emotional visit to Vimy Ridge Memorial Grounds – this site saw fighting between France, Britain and Canada against the Germans and young people were given the chance to explore the reconstructed and preserved trenches and defences from WWI.

We visited Rouen, the capital city of Normandy, and learnt about its architecture, Joan of Arc and the Black Death that plagued the city and a half day visit to Dieppe, where we learnt about Abraham Duquesne.

‘Back on site we took part in a great range of team building activities, to promote confidence, resilience, teamwork, and having fun – not to forget our picnic on the beach! It really was a jam packed residential, with young people learning so much about history as well as their own personal growth: giving them new opportunities, confidence, self-esteem, experience of new cultures and friends for life!

‘To make this a truly amazing experience on the way home we had a day in Euro Disney, going between both parks and experiencing all the fun and magic that comes with it! ‘Despite their often difficult starts in life our young people were an absolute credit to themselves and to their families!’

For more information on the group please visit our website: Follow on Facebook: Kinship Carers Liverpool Or call: 0151 270 2108

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