This is the first blog from Kindred. Luckily for me, my job involves an infinite supply of information, wisdom and inspiration. So no excuses, at least for blog content.

This blog is for people who are curious about Kindred.  I hope I can make the most of this opportunity to keep you up to date with our news.  We will probably support 1,000 parents this year and this gives us a unique insight.  Perhaps this blog will be of interest if you are involved in policy making or planning of service.  But most importantly, I hope it strikes a note with parents.

Over Christmas, a memory popped up on my Facebook from two years ago of our first ever family visit to a cinema with my son who is now 21 years old.  For 19 years of his life he was intensely agoraphobic and went into desperate screaming fits if we tried to socialise.  I remember the look of pity on the faces of the school staff as he had a massive melt down at a school evening event.

Sophie Pilgrim, Kindred Director


But in the last two years he has completely overcome this problem.  We went to see Rogue 1 in 3D on Tuesday and barely thought about his needs.  He struggled down the steps (due to ataxia) and kept reaching out to try to touch the 3D images.  He laughed at all the jokes and repeated the punchlines appreciatively in a rather loud voice.  Nothing too conspicuous.  Normal can be incredibly special.

I took home the poster of Rogue 1 as it reminded me of of the challenge of running Kindred.  It does sometimes feel like we are battling in a galaxy of strange forces, and that we frequently avoid obliteration by the vacuum caused by sudden lost of funding.  Our teams in Fife, at Sick Kids and Glasgow, work wonders far distant from Head Office.  And at Rutland Court Lane our core team and Helpline seem to possess unnatural powers for keeping us steady and on course.  We have just received new grants which will allow us to start the year with a budget surplus for the first time in eight years, and our income will certainly exceed half a million in the next year.

There are exciting new ventures for Kindred in the next twelve months.  We are starting our project for families of Children with Exceptional Health Care Needs in collaboration with CEN and we will be recruiting some new staff very soon.  We have some ingenious plans for extending our reach through social media and through parent groups.  And in a year’s time we will be preparing to move our Rillbank team to the out-of-this-world facilities at the New Children’s Hospital in Edinburgh.

I hope you will follow our progress and even join us.  We’ll be looking for guest bloggers!

Happy New Year, and may the force be with you.  But if not, you know where to find us.