More than a dozen Kinship Carers groups have formed a Scottish Kinship Carers Alliance to fight the ‘institutionalised discrimination’ experienced by the young relatives they look after.
Glasgow City’s Lord Provost Sadie Docherty, welcomed more than 170 people who are concerned about the legal rights being denied the children – often their own grandchildren – in their care.
Alliance Chair, Anne Swartz said: ‘We are sick of seeing the children in our care suffer without the basic support from Local Authorities. Kinship children are routinely written off and discriminated against while foster placements have access to a wide range of support and services. Enough is enough. We have come together to put a stop to this institutionalised discrimination and fight for the rights of our children.’
She added:’The Alliance was partly formed in response to large charities being tasked with representing and supporting Kinship Carers. We do not feel that these agencies represent us, and want direct access to policy makers and politicians. We are the experts with the best knowledge of the issue and it’s solutions. From now on we should be the first port of call on Kinship Care for all service managers and policy makers.’
Jessie Harvey a Kinship Carer for her 8-year-old grandson, had the audience on their feet applauding her moving speech. She said: ‘We will not stand for any more discrimination or injustice against them. Their human rights are being exploited by education, health visitors, politicians and funders. These people need to sit up and address the needs these children have.’
Chair of the Kinship group for North Glasgow, Jessie said later: ‘Psychological help for children as young as five, is withheld from kindred carers’ children but is offered as a matter of right, to fostered children. She added: ‘Children’s sleeping patterns, their eyesight, hearing and difficulties paying attention in school are all the result of what they’ve gone through. But there is no-one to help them or their carers. The children are excluded from the class. But schools should be helped to help them. There is no research going on right now into what is happening to these young minds and there should be. The addiction problems of their parents should not rub off on the kids. And present funding allocation are not putting a pint of milk on my table. We should be asked about what we, as carers, see is needed.’
A video message from Northern Ireland Kinship Carers Alliance was screened. Said Anne Swartz: ‘They have been an inspiration to us.’
In a keynote speech, Anne Marie Peffer, Scotland Manager of the charity Buttle UK, launched their groundbreaking Kinship Care Report almost at the same time as it was released in London.
A leading children’s grant-giving charity, Buttle ‘s report ‘The Poor Relations? Children and Informal Kinship Carers Speak Out.’ is a comprehensive study showing the impact of informal kinship care arrangements.
Carried out by the University of Bristol, the research shows that Local Authorities in Scotland currently recognise and support 1,736 children in Kinship Care. The majority of placements are informal and are not, automatically, entitled to any support. Said Anne Marie Peffer: ‘We have been taken aback by the poor health Kinship Carers and their children suffer and the severity of the financial hardship they are enduring. While unable to provide even basic items, they are saving the Scottish Government millions in care costs each year.’
One child in every 71 in Scotland is estimated to be living in Kinship Care.
With this research, the Scottish Kinship Care Alliance now plans to lobby hard to negotiate changes in the new Children and Young People’s Bill later this month (April)
Abir Kopty, a Palestinian from Nazareth, told members of Glasgow University Palestine Society: ‘When I speak to people like you, I feel hope.’
One of 6 million Palestinian refugees she explained: ‘I’m 48. My land was taken. My village destroyed. I’m one of 11 million Palestinian people who face apartheid daily.’
In the course of an eloquent review of the issue and a neat summary of the present situation she said: ‘We have lost faith in the negotiating table.’
As she travelled to Glasgow to speak during the Society’s Israel-Apartheid Week, she learned of the death of Arafat Jaradat, a campaigner who died in prison of injuries inflicted while he was there according to a post mortem.
‘He was arrested by the occupying Israeli occupation forces accused of throwing stones. Such things are designed to crush us. But we will continue to resist. Children are in jail, women and men are being killed. These things happen with impunity. The silence of the world is noticeable.’
But, she added: ‘There is a lot of frustration and anger. Palestinians question the effectiveness of the sacrifice. Will such sacrifices lead to change?’
She answered her own question by saying it is leading to stronger resistence.
The village of Alaragrib which has been demolished 45 times, keeps being rebuilt by local people.
‘We know we cannot rely on governments. But we can rely on people of conscience – like those attending this meeting.’
She continued: ‘Everything you do; everything that people like you do around the world puts pressure on Israel. We are willing to pay the price but that is not effective without your action.’
Chair of the Society, Kate Connelly, invited those interested to contact the group which organises visits to Palestine. ‘These are not tourist trips. They offer a really broad view of what life is like there.’ Anyone interested was invited to check out the Society’s Facebook pages.
The 02 Mela started with a splash on Saturday 23 June when the heavens opened as the major Asian styled, two-day festival got underway in Kelvingrove Park.
In the dry, sunny moments just before then, photographer Ian McIntyre caught some of the musicians as they were rehearsing on one of the three stages at the event. Ironically, this stage wasn’t allowed to operate when the rain descended. But the other two went ahead with their scheduled performances despite tiny audiences huddling under brollies patiently listening to their favourite Bollywood and Bhangra and other stars.
Apart from the Forestry Commission’s play space for children which was covered and busy with crafty little ones making things, having their faces painted and lapping up story-telling sessions, the rest of the park was awash with water and devoid of people till well into the afternoon.
A few brave folk scurried about under umbrellas but most of the stall holders sat glumly with tents full of unsold, lovely goods. Things brightened up mid afternoon when the rain stopped and some of the anticipated 20,000 visitors braved the elements to explore the multitude of stalls, events and entertainments.
Similar wet weather is forecast for Sunday. But it won’t stop the music.
Rugby is proving a hit with youngsters from a dozen schools for children with additional support needs. A rugby festival for 160 sports activists was due to be held on Thursday 9 June at Cartha Queens Rugby Club in Dumbreck Road, Pollokshields.
In preparation for the event, they practised their rugby skills at training sessions organised by the active schools co-ordinators and Kay Hunter, unit head at Ruchill Autism Unit. Glasgow Live’s rugby development section povided expert coaching.
The morning session was designed to cover a range of small skills tasks and games followed by larger touch rugby and corner ball type games.
Bailie Jean McFadden, Executive Member for Education, who was scheduled to present the awards said:’“Sporting events like this are often an area that children with additional support needs don’t get access to and yet there can be so much to gain. I hope all the young people, their families and their teachers have a very successful tournament and that everyone has a thoroughly enjoyable day out.”
The participating schools were to be: Ruchill Autism Unit, Aultmore Park Autism Unit, Toryglen Autism Unit, St Vincent’s Autism Unit, Drummore School, Eastmuir School, Gadburn School, Howford School, Kirkriggs School, St Kevin’s School and St Raymond’s School.
American musician and storyteller Rik Palieri delighted the staff and pupils at Whiteinch Primary when he visited as part of a Scottish tour.
Rik is an accomplished performer on the guitar, banjo, Polish pipes and Native American flute. He also weaves stories and narratives into his performances, in the style of his mentors, Pete Seeger and Utah Phillips.
He performed a set of songs for the younger nursery children which the kids were delighted to join in, and later told the schoolchildren stories of spending time with Native Americans in a sweat lodge.
After Rik finished, the pupils and staff returned the compliment by singing Tattie Time, a song about picking potatoes in rural Scotland, and finished with a rendition of Auld Lang Syne.
Rik, from Vermont, has contributed a song to a CD called Singing Through the Hard Times, a Tribute to Utah Phillips, which has been nominated for a Grammy award. The Grammys will be announced on 31 January.
Speaking about his love of performing for children, Rik told LOCAL NEWS: ‘It’s all part of what I call the train of tradition. You start by scattering the seeds amongst the young, by going into schools. And you sing the songs and give the kids a feeling of something different, a feeling that you can have a life in music, that dreams are possible.
‘When I’m in schools I do a specific programme that I know is going to excite the kids, time-tested songs that I know are going to work and are going to light up that school. Part of me has to acknowledge that learning from masters like Pete Seeger, I want the kids to experience the same joy that I had from hearing his songs. He can’t do it any more cause he’s 90 years old. It’s almost like today, times have changed, I’m more like a dinosaur, I want it to be authentic, I sing about things I know about. And when I’m telling the kids a story about sitting in a sweat lodge in South Dakota with Indians, they can imagine what its like, it was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before, and the music is this road that takes you into situations that you could never have got to.’
Rik added: ‘My hope is that five years from now some of these kids I’m performing for in Glasgow will be up on the open stage (at Celtic Connections) and will remember the joy that they felt through music. They won’t be playing what I’m playing, but that’s not my goal.
‘During a show at a school the other day I was with some older kids, and I played one of my songs and asked them to think for a moment about the people in Haiti who are suffering at the moment after the earthquake. Because they were older kids I felt they could understand that its not always fun and games.’
Mums and dads can register now for Glasgow City Council’s annual Baby’s First Christmas event.
Lord Provost Bob Winter will welcome 250 new Glaswegians and their parents to the Banqueting Hall at the City Chambers on Saturday 12 December. The infants will be presented with a certificate and a silver-coloured Christmas tree trinket as a keepsake to mark their first Christmas. Another 750 other babies will be invited to the St Enoch Shopping Centre, where they’ll receive a goody bag, certificate and tree trinket.
The Lord Provost said: ‘A particular highlight for new mums and dads is the celebration of a baby’s first Christmas. It’s a wonderful time of year for us all and I’m delighted to be able to offer this exclusive event, one which marks a very special occasion, for all families introducing their baby to their first Christmas.’
Glasgow On Ice is back by popular demand, and LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW has tickets to give away.
The outdoor ice rink and fairground are set beneath George Square’s stunning Christmas tree and sparkling lights, creating the essential festive family experience.
And why not make a night of it? Spend some time on the ice, enjoy a bite to eat and a hot drink and take in the fantastic programme of free entertainment on offer every night, from festive films and community shows to upcoming Glasgow bands and jazz – there really is something for everyone!
Tickets start at £6 per adult and £2.50 per child and can be booked in advance at the box office in George Square or by calling 0141 564-4220 or visiting www.winterfestglasgow.com. Please note online and telephone bookings will incur a booking fee.
LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW are giving away two family tickets to Glasgow on Ice, enabling you, a friend and up to three children the chance to skate under the illuminations for free. What better excuse is there to wrap up warm and get into the Christmas Spirit?
All you need to do to win is tell us where Glasgow On Ice will be staged. You can email your answer to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can snail mail your answer to Glasgow On Ice Competition, Local News Glasgow, Suite 9 Second Floor, 73 Robertson Street, Glasgow G2 8QD.
All entries must be with us by Wednesday, November 18.
Glasgow On Ice runs from Saturday November 21 until Sunday January 3 in George Square and is open seven days, 10am – 10pm
Parent and Toddlers only sessions Sunday 10am – 11am and Wednesday 12 noon – 1pm, for toddlers aged 2 – 4 years
Please note: Under 4s are not permitted on the ice rink, excluding parent and toddler sessions. Children aged 4-7 years must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Terms and Conditions
Regular Local News T&Cs will apply. The family ticket allows up to two adults and three children (aged 4 to 16 years old) to skate for free at anytime from 10am to 10pm
Monday, November 23 until Sunday, January 3, excluding parent and toddler session times and 10am – 12noon during week days until December 7, 2009 when school sessions are in operation. We would strongly suggest pre-booking your sessions to avoid disappointment.
Southside parents are invited to an open day at the newly-launched Little Einstein’s kindergarten in Nithsdale Road, Pollokshield, on Saturday, October 31, between 10.00am and 1.30pm.
Nithsdale House Nursery provides a first-class early learning experience for children from shortly after birth until they are ready for the first days of primary school.
The new facility – the latest in a thriving business with four premises in Tayside and two in Glasgow – has created 20 jobs for a team of qualified and professional carers.
Nithsdale House expands and enhances Little Einstein’s offering of the Hillside Crèche and the Hillside Clubhouse in Mansewood in Glasgow, which meet increasing levels of demand from parents in the surrounding area and beyond.
The new facility, at the corner of Nithsdale Road and Shields Road, provides parents with a safe, secure and nurturing environment where children can progress through the early stages of personal development.
For all 52 weeks of the year, it offers four huge and comprehensively equipped learning areas where children of different ages will be cared for by staff in ratios as intensive as one nursery professional to every three children.
Children also have frequent access to a pleasant and secure outdoor garden area and they are further stimulated by outings to the local community.
Nithsdale House’s cook provides healthy nutritious meals and snacks to cater for all dietary and cultural requirements.
Nithsdale House’s Nursery Manager, Leighann Bain, said: ‘We seek to build a strong and effective working relationship with parents so that they can be satisfied that their child is happy, safe and well-stimulated at all times.
‘We aim to provide an environment in which each child can grow and develop at its own pace and where staff plan responsively to children’s needs to ensure that learning is of the best possible value to children as individuals.’