Scores of carers enjoy fun in the sun on beach trip to South Shields

Scores of carers had fun in the sun as a national charity hosted a fun-filled day at the beach.

Carers from across the region enjoyed a day at Sandhaven Beach courtesy of the Kinship charity, which provides advice, support and training in the care sector.

‘Kinship carers’ are family members and friends who step up to raise children when their parents aren’t able to, often in a time of crisis.

Carers and their children across the North East and Yorkshire got together to play games, building sandcastles, and picnicking.

The Kinship Carers beach day was great success.

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One family member who stepped up to become a carer for her niece is Sarah Anderson from South Shields.

She said: “The support I’ve had from the team at Kinship has been amazing and I’d of struggled without them. They have helped my niece come one leaps and bounds.

"It’s been a big adaption for me and my other children but it’s been worth it giving my niece a safe place to live and be with family.”

Kinship said many carers are struggling financially, made worse by the cost-of-living crisis. Unlike foster carers, kinship carers do not receive a financial allowance to help them cover the costs of raising a child.

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Dre had a great time dancing on the beach.

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Darren McGlen, Kinship project worker, said: “This event brings together all the support groups in the North East and Yorkshire together and the children can see that they are not alone living in Kinship care.

“What we are aiming for is get all Kinship carers an allowance in line with foster carers so they’re not struggling and being pushed into poverty by becoming a Kinship carer which is not fair.”

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Charlotte Lawson, senior campaigns officer at Kinship, added: “National we are launching a campaign tackling financial support for Kinship carers as well as grants to help with the costs of things like clothing, school uniforms and all the extra things that come with raising a child.”

Finley Deane was getting fit in the sunshine.

The event was support by South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck but believes the charity should receive more support from the government.

She said: “When you look at the cost-of-living crisis, they need that financial support. A lot of these families weren’t expecting to look after children in their families which can sometimes happen overnight and they need that support and the government just will not listen.”

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Shannon Chapman and Caitlin Bolam couldn’t wait to get into the sea.
Friends and family meet up for a fantastic day out on the beach.
These guys were having a great time doing a Zumba lesson.