A COUPLE who took in their grandson have set up a support group to help other Lancashire ‘kinship’ carers.
Craig and Emma Hammond stepped in to look after little Nathan when it became clear his parents could not do so.
They were granted a residency order by the family court, meaning the two-year-old lives with them in a kinship arrangement.
This means they act as Nathan’s main parents but the link to his birth parents is not totally severed, unlike in adoption.
Now the pair, of Willis Road, Blackburn, have launched ‘Kinkid Family Support Lancashire’ to help carers and family and close friends affected by such moves.
Emma, who is training to be a counsellor, said it challenging but ultimately rewarding.
The 42-year-old, whose husband Craig, 43, is a lecturer at University Centre at Blackburn College, added: “It was a really difficult decision to make because we have done our parenting. At the beginning, Craig felt we could not do it but I said we had to.
“Now he would not give him up for the world. There was a period of grieving for the life we were planning together as we got older and our children moved on.
“But now we have got used to it and this is how life is and we are happy. We have got this beautiful little boy and we love him to bits.
Emma explained that all the family has had to adjust to the impact of caring for a young child.
She said: “My daughter loves him and is fine with him but she couldn’t handle him living here with us. That was partly why I wanted to start the support group.
“It is not just the immediate family that is affected, it has a knock-on effect for others and if she had someone to talk to, maybe that could have helped.”
Kinkids can be found on Facebook by searching ‘Kinkids Family Support Lancashire’ or Emma can be contacted on 07505 275145.