Kinship thankful to ExxonMobil

Exxonmobil's Fiona Allerdyce and Public Affairs Manager Derek Crighton present kinship carers Betty Walker, Linda Mackie and Janetta Tate with a cheque for �500. Picture: Arran Morton.
Exxonmobil's Fiona Allerdyce and Public Affairs Manager Derek Crighton present kinship carers Betty Walker, Linda Mackie and Janetta Tate with a cheque for �500. Picture: Arran Morton.

A PETERHEAD carers group was delighted to receive a generous donation form oil giant ExxonMobil last week.

Heart of the Kinship is a support group which works with grandparents and other relatives who are looking after children because their parents are no longer able to.

Peterhead grandmothers Betty Walker, Janetta Tate and Linda Mackie set up Heart of the Kinship in April to offer others like them advice and support.

The women wrote to ExxonMobil at St Fergus gas terminal last month asking if they could help fund outings for the children in their care and others like them.

Grandmother Betty, who looks after her young grandson full time, said that the group received no government funding and relied on the kindness of local businesses to continue to provide support for kinship carers in the Peterhead area.

The group was delighted when the oil company offered to give it £500 towards running costs and outings for the children.

Communities affairs manager Ian Hackers said that ExxonMobil was delighted to assist Heart of the Kinship, describing it as a “very worthy cause”.

Fellow kinship carer Linda Mackie said that the money would be used to take the children on days out, which they might otherwise be unable to afford.

She said: “We will use the money to do something for the kids. We want to hold Halloween and Christmas parties and take them out to bowling and the pictures.”

Despite caring for seven grandchildren between them, the three women receive little financial assistance and, in some cases, have had to retire from well paid jobs to assume a parental role.

Kinship care support worker Mel Evans said that it was “just amazing” what the three women had achieved.

She said: “Not only have these ladies assumed kinship carer roles, they have also strived to welcome others and have been organising activities.

There is a high level of kinship carers in Buchan and these women have been pulling resources and reaching out to them.”

Heart of the Kinship Peterhead would like to thank all the local businesses who have supported them.

A bingo tea held by the group earlier in the year at the Buchanhaven Hearts Club raised almost £700 while a bottle stall at the Lido raised £130.

Janetta added: “We would just like to thank everyone for their support. It has been overwhelming.”