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Local Groups & Clubs

Grandparents raising grandchildren

Life changes drastically when you take a grandchild into your care.
 |  Gillian Willis  | 

We are a small group of grandparents who are raising our grandchildren full time. We meet once a month for a coffee catchup at various cafes around town. One of our members lives in Coromandel so this month we travelled there for morning tea. We have also had others from Tairua and Matarangi.

The group was originally started by Brenda Duncan and Shirley Brown. Brenda has a wealth of knowledge and has been a great support to many over the years. It was a very small group back then but now we have about 12 grandparents involved and we usually have 6-8 turn up to our coffee mornings each month.

We have our grandchildren for various reasons. As we are all travelling the same road, it is great to have that contact with others who understand what you are going through and are non judgemental. We can commiserate with each other, but we can also have lots of laughs. We celebrate the milestones our grandchildren reach, and we support each other when times are rough. Some of us have forged great friendships with each other and those friendships continue outside of our coffee mornings. Some of the older grandparents have grandchildren well into adulthood now but they have continued to come along to our coffee group due to the relationships formed over the years.

We also welcome anyone who is caring for someone else’s child to join us. We have had an aunty raising her nephew, some grandparents who are not the biological grandparents and some foster parents.

Anyone raising a grandchild should go onto the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren website and join up. You will then receive a monthly newsletter by email which has a lot of helpful information in it.  You also have access to advocates who can help with financial support, the legal system, any Oranga Tamariki involvement and help with accessing support for mental health, counselling services, housing issues and education resources.

We welcome any grandparents and caregivers in the Mercury Bay area to come along and join our coffee mornings. We are more than happy to support anyone who is new to, or already on, this journey. Carers or anyone fostering are most welcome as well. Please contact Gillian on 027 4540314 for more information.