Supporting looked after children in Kirklees through lockdown
Lockdown restrictions such as loss of physical contact with friends, no school and the loss of regular routines can be tough for children and young people but a group of dedicated volunteers in Kirklees are going the extra mile to support our most vulnerable children.
We want to say a huge thank you to Mark and Jane and all the Kirklees Independent Visitors who have been nominated as local heroes for all of the work they’ve been doing with looked after children and young people though lockdown.
There are approximately 40 volunteer Independent Visitors who regularly give up their time to support our most vulnerable children and young people.
The team of Independent Visitors usually supports children and young people by taking them out to share new experiences and activities or to share a meal together and have a face to face chat. During the Covid-19 lockdown period this hasn’t been possible, so they’ve come up with some really imaginative ideas about how to keep in touch and have fun with the children they support.
Volunteer Mark has been setting quizzes for the young person he’s in touch with and even sent him a box of After Eight mints after he discovered during a chat that he hadn’t tried them before. They’ve also shared a virtual birthday cake.
Volunteer Jane has been sending arts and craft materials to her young person as well as some books for her to read and other surprise treats to make her smile. They have a catch up every week to chat about what they’ve been up to and their cats have even become virtual best friends and meet up through WhatsApp.
Cllr Viv Kendrick, Cabinet member for children said “I’m extremely proud of all our Independent Visitors. Many children and young people hugely value having an extra adult to talk to, so the Independent Visitors keeping in touch in this way is making a real difference.
“They play an incredibly positive role in the life of a looked after child, so I’m delighted that their work in Kirklees has been recognised – they truly are local heroes. They give up their free time to provide friendship, advice and support and are sometimes the most consistent person in the young person’s life. Our volunteers are rising to the challenge of keeping up the support they give, which is more important than ever during the coronavirus pandemic.”
Read more about Kirklees Independent Visitors