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Check in to read what we’ve been up to recently.


 June 2018

Ambeya’s Fundraising Adventure

We are delighted to hear that one of our young Trustees, Ambeya Begum, will do some more fundraising for Kidstime this year. You can support Ambeya with a donation here.

Ambeya says:

“Every year, I aim to make an impact on children’s lives. Working with the Kidstime Foundation has allowed me to use my personal experiences to teach children how to cope as young carers to parents with severe mental illnesses. These children suffer as result of their parents’ illness. They become excluded from a society where mental illness is seen as taboo or their caring responsibilities do not fit the attributes of a ‘normal kid.’ As a result, society becomes oblivious to the issues which arise in families where mental illnesses exist. It isn’t fair for children to live their lives as victims of society’s inability to see mental illness as an illness like any other. It is not something you can hide and it is not fair to expect a child to parent their own parent.

Kidstime provides a service in helping the family and the children from an early age on how to cope with parental mental illness. They work to  create better understanding and allow kids to overcome their fear of their parents. They help build a bond and a close, loving relationship with a mentally ill family member. Being involved with Kidstime for over 5 years and becoming a Trustee, ambassador and an NHS young carer’s champion, has allowed me to make this cause part of my life which I don’t think I will ever be able to give up. I hope that the work I do opens up doors for conversations and increases our capacity to hear from the voices of the unheard and unseen – young carers whose voices are silenced through the stigma and shame of parental mental illness.

I have taken a personal stand to speak up for those children and the message I want to share is that “we all can prevent the cycle of mental illness.”

Having already trekked the Great Wall of China, completed a 15,000ft skydive and volunteered in a South African orphanage where children have lost their parents to mental illnesses, I have managed to raise money so that Kidstime can carry on providing services which the public sector and health professionals are not. As crazy as it sounds, I have now taken the initiative to complete a sponsored trek across the Sahara Desert! For me to successfully complete this trek, I must raise a minimum of £2000 for Kidstime.

I am delighted to be part of a movement that campaigns and helps the children of parents with a mental illness. It would be an achievement for me to complete this and I would love for you all to feel the passion and energy that I feel.

Your donations will give a voice to young carers and make a huge difference to their lives. Any amount will be appreciated, and your support will carry on driving my commitment! I would also appreciate if you share this with anyone else who would be interested in the work I have been doing.”

If you would like to support Ambeya, you can do so here.

 May 2018


Graffik Gallery Fundraising Event

On 16th May we held a fundraiser at Graffik Gallery which raised some much needed funds for the charity. The event would not have happened without the efforts of many people, staff, volunteers and friends, especially Naomi Bacon, who got the Graffik Gallery to host the event free of charge and use her many contacts to provide a chef, Rob Neale and Felix von Nida, who donated food and their labour to the event.

The highlight of the evening was an auction and our Trustees and staff sourced many great items for the auction, including holidays in Cornwall, Venice and Cannes! We were lucky to have Christies send us Louise Simmons to lead the auction, free of charge!
Another highlight was the contributions of our young people who brought the work of the charity to life with their own experiences of living with a parent with a mental illness. They are a living testimony to the benefits our work brings to young people who live in families where there is mental illness.

We want to thank everyone who made the evening such a success. We hope you enjoy the video of the event below.

April 2018

Kidstime Foundation Networking & Knowledge sharing day

Kidstime Foundation are delighted to be running a Workshop Networking Day on Thursday 14th June. If you run a Kidstime Workshop and are interested in joining this event then please contact Sophie Padel at

March 2018

Kidstime Foundation contributes to government inquiry on Adverse Childhood Experiences

We have recently contributed to a government inquiry into the health implications of environmental stress on children and their development. We know, for example, that mental illness and distress have their origins in early childhood. We know that brain development is affected when children live in unsafe environments and safe and secure attachments are fundamental to resilience.

This inquiry is very welcome and we hope that a coherent and funded approach to children and young people’s mental health will be the result. Kidstime Foundation was among the many organisations who provided evidence of the link between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and the long term negative outcomes. We were asked to identify the gaps and which adversities have most impact. We partnered with the Children’s Society and submitted 20 pages of evidence, concentrating on raising awareness of parental mental illness and its impact on the children. This is one of the most hidden and neglected risk factors identified in the ACE research.

The interest in ACE is growing in the UK but it is remarkable how many professionals I speak to say “oh yes, I am aware of that research” or “no I have never heard of it”. The apparent lack of interest or concern about this dramatic research is surprising because there is reliable and compelling evidence that adverse childhood experiences such as loss of/or death of a parent, domestic violence, substance abuse, physical illness and mental illness take a heavy toll on our health. The inter-generational cycle will only be broken through prevention measures which offer the families ways to deal with their difficulties. Treatment is often too little, too late and it is expensive.

Games to help children discuss emotions

It is very important to get children to understand that having emotions are a normal and healthy part of life. This video from Playfull gives you a few ideas how.

January 2018

Kidstime Foundation signs up to the Mental Health Media Charter

We’re very pleased to announce that we are now part of the Mental Health Media Charter launched by Natasha Devon. The charter is a set of 7 simple guidelines for ensuring imagery and language used in mental health reporting is responsible, genuinely educational and stigma-reducing. Something we at Kidstime Foundation wholeheartedly support.

The Charter was put together with the help of the Samaritans, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England and Beat. It has been endorsed by Girguiding, the Coalition for Men & Boys & the Labour Campaign for Mental Health.

Kidstime Foundation is on All In The Mind from BBC Radio 4

We’re delighted that our founder Alan Cooklin and two of our wonderful ambassadors Ambeya & Kiera will be on the BBC Radio 4 #AllintheMind programme just before Christmas talking about parental mental illness.

You can listen again here:

December 2017

Seasonal Newsletter

The work that Kidstime Foundation does with families and in schools goes a long way to lighten the burden for children growing up with the stress of living with a parent with a mental illness. This newsletter will give you a small taste of what we have achieved during 2017, with very limited resources.

Schools Work Update

• We developed two new hubs in 2017, in the London Borough of Barnet and Plymouth, bringing together Kidstime Workshops with our Who Cares? projects in schools and community colleges.

• We have been able to reach over 1000 children in years 8 and 9 over the three years we have been working in Plymouth and we are now looking to adapt the materials for primary schools.

“Through our relationship with the Kidstime Foundation we have become a Mental Health aware school. It has become embedded in our culture and is something we are proud of.” Antia Frear – Head Teacher, Stoke Damerel Community College.

Family Work Update

• Four new Kidstime Workshops were set up in 2017: in Barnet, Brent, Westminster and Birmingham.
• We also trained a new cohort of Kidstime Trainers to support the expansion of the workshop programme.

“The collaboration with Kidstime provides a good example of partnership work between voluntary and statutory agencies. Feedback from staff and parents who have attended these sessions has been hugely encouraging.” Madhu Chauhan – Early Help & Partnership Services Manager, Westminster Children’s Services.

Policy change

An estimated 2.7 million children across the UK have a parent with a mental illness and we are working hard to get their voices heard.

During this year we have contributed to the Cross-Party Government Enquiry into children’s Mental Health and the Commons Select Committee on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE).

In 2018 we will work with the Children’s Society to raise awareness of the need to tackle the stress of growing up with parental mental illness.

Looking ahead

Early in the New Year we will be publishing a report prepared with Ernst & Young. This will provide up to date information on the size of this group of children and the impact of doing nothing on both the child and the state.

We will also continue to work with the Mental Health Foundation to design and fund a research project to provide the evidence base for our work.

We will be launching our new website and learning platform , as well as producing more film and animated resources for children.

We will continue to support the existing work and develop new projects and research in schools.

Finally, we are excited about the prospect of Kidstime Workshops in Southwark, Greenwich and our first in Scotland, and looking into providing a peer mentoring programme.

We would like every child who has a parent with a mental illness to be able to come forward and access the support they need. Please support us to continue and expand our work with these children and their families during 2018 by donating here.

August 2017

New study from the Children’s Commissioner for England reveals that just a small fraction of young carers are receiving the support that they need.

Here is a response on this from our CEO, Dympna:

“This report makes grim reading and yet I am not surprised.

How can we allow children as young as 5 to care for their families?

The Care Act (2014) defines inappropriate or excessive care as “anything that is likely to have an impact on the child’s wellbeing or health or education or which is unsuitable for that particular child”. Any child who is caring for a family member will inevitably have their whole lives affected for their whole life.

How can we ignore this and put all the resources into our ‘statutory’ responsibility to identify and assess rather than support?

If its hard to identify and support young carers in general how much more difficult it will be to identify and support children who have a parent with a mental illness which is much more hidden and shameful and much less likely to be disclosed.
It is clear from global research that the stress on children living with a parent with mental illness affects their own mental health and attachment patterns and this needs to be addressed before the child/young person can concentrate on their own lives, their own ambitions and their own wellbeing.

The plea for everyone who is in touch with families and children to take responsibility for these children is something we also wish for and we know that the child is not an isolated person, the systems and institutions that surround need to change, its not enough just to treat the child or young person in isolation, we must take a systems approach, working with families, working with schools, with all institutions that encounter children and young people.”

You can read the report here:

June 2017

At the end of June we attended the Young Carers Festival that was celebrating it’s 18th year.

The festivities were well enjoyed by everyone who was there, especially the young people who have a fantastic opportunity for respite and fun.


We were also running a stall in The Voice Zone where we consulted with the Young Carers about how to manage transitions. Often when Young Carers reach the age of 18 they are faced with tough decisions about how best to move on from school and studies. This can be made even hard when you factor in their caring roles and managing family relationships, responsibilities and expectations. We spent the day asking them to think about how there are always positives and negatives about moving on. You may really miss something but also equally be happy to leave something behind. You may be very nervous about something but also very exciting about moving on to something new.

“It will be good to leave behind bullies and people I don’t like but I will miss our garden at home”

“I’m nervous about handing over responsibilities to my younger siblings but I am happy to leave behind our noisy neighbours!”

“I’m excited about being able to express my new independent self-taking care of me and my wellbeing for a change, but I am nervous about leaving my Dad behind as he is going through a tough time”

“I’m looking forward to new experiences and meeting new people but I will miss all the memories in my house”

“I will miss my friends and family but I am excited about using my experience of looking after my sister to my day to day life.”

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We’re very grateful to the Young Carers Festival for inviting us and to all the young people we spoke to about managing all feelings, good or bad, when it comes to moving on.

Happy Birthday YCF!

May 2017

Visiting Plymouth

Dympna Cunnane (CEO) and Esther Malvern (Operations Director) took a trip to Plymouth to catch up with their Kidstime work. It was a real pleasure to see their Kidstime Workshop in action and meet with the families they have been supporting. A big thank you to all of the participants for letting us join in with their discussions, drama sessions and games. Esther in particular enjoyed creating clay characters with the children and acting out some scenes with them which we recorded and presented back to the parents.

We also had the opportunity to meet with teachers, pastoral teams and young carers services from across the area and present the Who Cares? work in schools to them. A very interesting discussion was had about how to empower school staff to help support children who have a parent with a mental illness and how, as a whole area, Plymouth can work co-operatively to spread the Kidstime work. We were both enthused and inspired by the work done in Plymouth and looking forward to returning in the autumn to do further school staff training and develop our Primary School material with the Plymouth Excellence Cluster.

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Brand New Kidstime Workshops!

We’re delighted to announce that we have four new Kidstime Workshops up and running in Barnet, Westminster, Birmingham and Brent. You can find out more about them here. We look forward to returning to them in due course to pick up on their progress and share some of the learning with you. We are learning the importance of having a well trained and experienced core team to lead the workshops and we have produced online resources now which will guide the teams through the process from finding funding to starting working with the families.

We wish all four the very best with their groups and welcome them to the Kidstime Network.


April 2017

Last night Wirral Kidstime received a generous donation of sound and filming equipment from Round Table in Wirral. We meet at Pilgrim Street Art Centre in Birkenhead and as you can see in the photos the room is very large and quite echoey. Some of the softer spoken adults and children are difficult to hear when in such a large space and the sound quality of our playback equipment has been hard to hear. Roger Clay and Janey from Round Table gave Kidstime some brilliant new loudspeakers, microphones, an iPad to film the dramas and dances and 20 Wise Mouse books, which we can lend to families so they can use them to help explain parental Mental Illness to their children. They joined our discussion and film session at the end of Kidstime to donate them to us. Next month we should be able to start making use of them! Many thanks for Round Table in Wirral!


March 2017

Correspondence with the Prime Minister

In response to Prime Minister Theresa May announcement around mental health support earlier this year, we wrote to her to draw attention to the vulnerability of children of parents with mental illness and ask that the research and work we do at The Kidstime Foundation be included in the review. As you can see below from the response and our further correspondence we have been invited to be part of the Green Paper and have been connected with an MP in the Department of Education. Though we welcome this move forward and the interest in this vulnerable section of Society, it also underlines the neglect this group continues to suffer, indicates to us that the needs of this group clearly needs to be headlined more effectively.

We will, as ever, continue to push for these children to be identified and included in mental health policy as a separate group under Young Carers who suffer different adversities and require different support. We ask that policy makers and health, education and social care planners include this large group in their plans and budgets. The Kidstime Foundation have designed and delivered high quality and highly effective support services for these children and their families, which, if funded, would break the cycle and significantly save the public purse in the long term. It is time to be looking more closely at preventative measures to help protect children’s mental health and wellbeing.


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February 2017

Who cares? Awareness Raising Events in Barnet.


This February we ran four events with 27 secondary schools in Barnet to raise awareness of Children of Parents with a Mental Illness and start to explore what they, as schools, can do to support them. The events were a great success and well attended by a range of roles from the schools including Heads of Years, Pastoral teams and Student Support Services.

The afternoon was very useful and enlightening.

Has made me really begin to think about what we can do in school

These sessions were run in partnership with Barnet Primary and Secondary Schools CAMHS at Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust and Barnet Mind, who have also set up and are running a Kidstime Workshop for the Barnet area.

We are now working closely with a secondary school to develop a lead for the Barnet hub and a Sixth Form College to develop transition packages for young adults from schools to further education and employment.

Excellent introduction to a very wide ranging topic.

Very passionate speakers

Very relaxed, open discussions

We look forward to the Barnet Kidstime Forum event in the summer to check in with how schools are moving forward with their COPMI support and introducing Kidstime to Primary schools.

Thank you, this session was very useful and encouraging to know that support for this group of young people is finally being taken seriously

January 2017

Prime Minister unveils plans to transform Mental Health Support.

On Monday delivering the annual Charity Commission lecture, Prime Minister Theresa May announced a comprehensive package of measures to transform mental health support in our schools, workplaces and communities. The Prime Minister stated that true parity for mental and physical health can only be achieved if every institution recognises the vital role it can play in delivering this objective.

  • PM: “I want us to employ the power of government as a force for good to transform the way we deal with mental health problems right across society”
  • comprehensive package of reforms to improve mental health support at every stage of a person’s life – with an emphasis on early intervention for children and young people
  • new support for schools with every secondary school in the country to be offered mental health first aid training and new trials to look at how to strengthen the links between schools and local NHS mental health staff

The Kidstime response:

We welcome this renewed commitment by government to improve mental health services in general and those for children in particular. It is clear that early help makes economic and social sense but sadly to date at least another four such promises from the previous Secretary of State for Education (Nicky Morgan), the previous Prime Minister, have not delivered anything because there has been no investment to back up the promises. Mental health services for children have not been protected at the local level and there is evidence that some of the much needed funding has been diverted to other struggling services.

We also welcome that the Prime Minister wants to find out ‘what is and what is not working’. We look forward to hearing the detail of how this is to be studied and acted upon. The provision of mental health ‘first aid ‘ training is a move in the right direction but again it depends on how this is designed and delivered.

Our work at the Kidstime Foundation over the last 15 years shows that children and teachers would welcome this and we have developed training and resources for schools in our ‘Who cares?’ project. The tragedy is that we know what needs to be done and we have the means to do it but not the funding. Until this is forthcoming we will continue to have empty promises and we will have to pay for the damage later in terms of lost tax revenue, high costs for social support and NHS bills for acute treatment because prevention was not politically a priority.

Alan Cooklin, Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and CEO Kidstime Foundation


December 2016

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas!!

Thank you for all your support over this year and we look forward to you join us as we continue to support and raise awareness of children who have a parent with a mental illness in 2017.

October 2016

Ambeya completed a Sky Dive for Kidstime and World Mental Health Day!

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What perfect timing it was to skydive for Kidstime – the day before World Mental Health Day 2016. Like my China Trek, words cannot fully express what it felt like to complete a skydive. It was simply incredible. From physically shaking whilst signing the declaration before the jump, to landing with the biggest smile on my face, it just goes to show how much and how quickly emotions can change. I can still remember anxiously watching the timer and seeing our altitude climbing knowing; that we were only 5000ft up and still had another 5000ft to go before jumping. If I have to be honest, the worst part (before I said that I loved it!) was when the door of the plane opened. The guy attached to me was on the edge of the plane – whilst I am already dangling in the air! Skydiving made me realise what it is like to put your full trust in someone with your life. But, I don’t want to put anyone off by saying all this.

After jumping out and freefalling for a good 30-40 seconds, it indeed feel like I was diving into the clouds. Feeling the clouds and water particles hit your face feels so refreshing; however grey the clouds look from down below. At least the sun was out when the parachute opened. And that’s when it actually hit me that I’m a few minutes away from completing a skydive. Being up there makes you forget about everything and everyone for a moment. It’s a moment truly to yourself. You have no cares in the world in that moment – all I could actually think about is how long it took for this day to come and how quickly it’s all going to end. The world looks so much nicer from above the ground we walk on. I’m a wimp when it comes go heights. But up there, height wasn’t even an issue. In my opinion, being on a rollercoaster is scarier.

I had the patience to wait over year and a half for an hour of what I could call the best hour of my life. It’s given me back the confidence I had lost and I could not have done it without everyone’s encouragement and support. Kidstime will always stay dear to me. Children affected by parental mental illness are still sometimes left in the dark and its through these crazy events that I organise that I can help raise awareness of the young people Kidstime help. Completing a skydive has always been something important to me; but to know that I have done it for a good cause makes the whole feeling 100x better. I hope one day, these young people are given the life and opportunities which they have wished to have for all these years. I hope me completing this skydive has helped raise further awareness of how we support children with parents with a mental illness. I hope one day, that like myself, everyone can turn around and say ‘Yes, I said I would and could do it, and now I’ve done it.’ Never let anyone stop you from living your life or doing something you’ve dreamed of doing. Because it’s that mentality and negative attitude that makes the work even harder for charities like Kidstime to deal with. Only joking. Kidstime will always be there to support you.

Now it’s time to plan my next adventure!

August 2016

Young People’s responses from the Young Carers Festival.

We’ve gone through all the responses from our stall at the Young Carers Festival and there are some consistent and strong messages from the young people that attended:

“caring is not easy but we want to do it”

“we don’t want sympathy but we do want support to deal with the issues”

” Mental Health is hidden and this makes it harder to deal with”

“we are not faking it and using it as an excuse to avoid things”

Thank you to everyone who took the time to meet with us and let us know their thoughts and feelings.

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June 2016

The Kidstime Foundation at the Young Carers Festival 2016!

We went to the Young Carers Festival at YMCA Fairthorne Manor and met some amazing young carers. We had some great conversations about how to burst the bubble on being a young carer of a parent with a mental illness. We look forward to sharing here some of their thoughts and ideas.

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This week is Carers Week, 6th – 12th June.

Carers Week 2016

This year for Carers Week we are asking how can organisations build carer friendly communities.

With 1 in 6 pupils in a classroom affected by a parent with a mental illness what are schools doing to support them?

• The number of 5-7 year olds providing care increased by 83% between 2001 and 2011.

• 39% of young carers have said that nobody in their school was aware of their caring role.

• Only 36% of student carers felt able to balance commitments such as work, study, and family/relationships, compared to 53% of students without caring responsibilities.

Our Who Cares? programme can help to raise awareness of the needs of these children, tackle stigma and discrimination around mental illness and help these children come forward for support.

This Carers week we ask you to speak up for those that are caring for a parent with a mental illness.   #carersweek

‘…you can’t talk about it at school because you know it makes you different. But at Kidstime, children talk about mental health all the time so you can stop holding in your feelings. It’s comforting, and I felt more accepting of my dad.’  Young Carer.

May 2016

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, 16th – 22nd May.

We’ll be adding posts all week about how relationships for young people can be affected when you are dealing with a parent with a mental illness and about how good relationships are essential to our wellbeing.

We need to understand just how fundamental relationships are to our health and wellbeing. We cannot flourish as individuals and communities without them. In fact, they are as vital as better-established lifestyle factors, such as eating well, exercising more and stopping smoking. – See more here at Mental Health Foundation’s website.

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February 2016

The Kidstime Foundation was featured in the BBC Three Counties radio programme – Shrink Wrapped.




December 2015

Seasonal Greetings from The Kidstime Foundation

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November 2015

The Mail on Sunday has published an article on the Kidstime Workshops.

Catherine O’Brien has written about the Kidstime Workshops for You Magazine and The Mail on Sunday. Highlighting a number of the families we are helping through the workshops and how the work of drama is helping to support them.

Mental health awareness may be on the rise, but for the children caught up in family illness, support can be sadly lacking. Catherine O’Brien meets the professionals breaking boundaries with open conversation and drama – and the families they are helping.

Terry, a former electronics engineer, first brought Drew to Kidstime two years ago, as he and his family (he also has three grown-up children) struggled to cope with the ill health of his wife Amanda, 50.

‘It’s hard for any kid to come out and say, “My mum or dad has gone off the rails,” so instead Drew was pushing herself into a corner and could no longer relate to her peers,’ says Terry.

‘But coming here has enabled her to see that others are in similar situations and, although we have problems, we are working through them.

‘That has given her confidence and now she is blossoming.’

You can download this article by clicking here or you can read the article here.

Terry and Drew You Mag You Magazine screen shot

October 2015

Project showcase event

Who Cares? Project: the unique in-school project to help children and young people of parents with mental illness will be presented on 26 October.

The young people involved, together with trustees and patrons, will present the development of the project to date and invite attendees to share in discussion of its future.

If you wish to have more information on the event, please contact us at

September 2015

Who Cares? Project: early positive feedback

A number of schools have now completed their piloting phase of Who Cares? Project and have made overwhelmingly positive comments about their experience.

From feedback reports schools sent us, after piloting Who Cares? Project between May and July 2015 we have discovered that:

  • Some students were initially scared as they recognised symptoms in their selves or their parents. But they felt relief when they found out that others felt the same and been through the same thing. Students understood others’ needs and there has been a noticeable change in atmosphere among students, towards empathy and understanding.
  • School staff felt that they have been educated too; they felt they can now sensitively support students and now they are more aware of the misconceptions of mental health
  • Schools have reported that the Who Cares? Project also improved the overall school atmosphere, with increased confidence in both affected children and peer group relationship across the school

Catrina Garratt – Head of Drama Stoke Damerel Community College – Plymouth said:
‘The Who Cares? Drama team wrote a play for Assemblies in school. 
The audience were so engaged and the focus so intense you could hear a pin drop. They really took in the message. By the end of the week over 600 people watched this student led work.
One young carer said: “I really enjoyed it. The Who Cares? Project has given me so much confidence and even made me want to carry on with directing and performing”. 


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Great Success for Kidstime Foundation at the funding network event!

It has been a really interesting and successful evening: it kicked off with an ethical business debate and it carried on with several charities’ pitches about inspiring projects that asked for support.

Kidstime Foundation participated with a well-represented team; formed by professionals, school representatives, affected children and other stakeholders.

The Who Cares? Project touched the hearts of donors who very generous in supporting our cause.  The evening raised over £10,000 in grants!

Have a look to Kidstime Who Cares? Project pitch video:


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We would really like to thank all the people and organisations that contributed.  Their donations make it possible to run our projects in real schools, to help real kids.
Thanks also to The Funding network organisation for organising such a nice event!



Great Wall of China Trek

Young carer, Ambeya, walks the wall for Kidstime Foundation

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“I have never imagined I’d have the opportunity to trek the Great Wall of China but to do it in order to raise money for the Kidstime Foundation was simply incredible. No words or pictures would be able to describe my experience there, but what I can say is that it will probably be one of the most rewarding and exciting things I have done in my life so far. Being able to experience a whole new country, culture and environment with a bunch of strangers I met at the airport for departure has turned my life around. I met some of the most amazing, inspiring people who I hope to organise more trekking adventures with. Being able to speak about the Kidstime Foundation and give a talk about the work we do for children looking after parents with a mental illness at the top of Great Wall gave me a spark of hope for the charity. I wish I could go back and do it all over again! I would like to thank everyone who supported me with my fundraising; especially Odeon Marble Arch for allowing me to hold fundraising events which made a huge success. This will not be the end of my adventures, it’s only just the beginning. I will carry on raising money for the Kidstime Foundation and make sure young carers have a better future ahead of them.”        



July 2015

Congratulations to Ambeya for reaching her fundraising target, and wishing her good luck on her forthcoming adventures!


Thank you to the schools who have begun working with us on our Who Cares? project piloting.
We are looking forward to expanding the project in September with more schools lined up to be involved.

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April 2015

Our “Who Cares?” project is about to start piloting!

We are currently training teachers and school staff in different schools around the UK who will use the “Who Cares?” material to deliver the curriculum contents to their pupils.

Kidstime Workshops are expanding and we will soon be launching these workshops in new locations, both in the UK and abroad (Portugal)!

Our young carer Ambeya began her fundraising at the start of April, selling doughnuts at a stall at an Odeon Cinema, to raise money to support her walk along the Great Wall of China.

To find out more and support Ambeya, please go here

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Why are you raising money for Kidstime Foundation?

“I have been a volunteer at the Kidstime Foundation for over a year now and recently they appointed me as a trustee. The charity is offered to children who have to look after parents with mental illness and find it difficult to come to terms with what they have to live with. This effects the relationships and bonds within the family and Kidstime try and explain to children what they are dealing with in order to make it easier for them. I have never managed to build a relationship with my mum and this therefore made it even more difficult for my brothers to build a relationship. If Kidstime was available to me when I was younger, I believe things would have been different and I wished that was the case.… I don’t want to see children suffer the same things in life that I have had to deal with”.

February 2015

One of our determined young people, Kirsty Tahta-Wraith, is taking on a personal challenge in March and asks for sponsorship to raise funds for The Kidstime Foundation.

Kirsty will be doing the Salomon Citytrail™ Richmond 10K run in March!


“Growing up as a young carer for my father with bi-polar disorder had its fair share of difficulties. Nearing the end of the journey of childhood, I am so aware of the necessary help the Kidstime workshop group gave me and my family and thus where we would have been without it. There are so many other children like me, but drastically less people aware of their role and willing to help them. The money I raise for The Kidstime Foundation WILL change this!

Though I’m not strictly a kid anymore, the support I received and continue to receive from the Kidstime foundation has stayed with me. It remains credited for many of my past, present and future achievements. Please donate, and enable other children to flourish too.

I will be running a 10 kilometre race on the 22nd of March 2015. All of your donations will go towards the Kidstime Foundation. This is my effort to support those who supported me. Please show your support and donate what you can!”

You can sponsor Kirsty here.

To hear more from Kirsty and her feelings about the work we do and the support children need when dealing with parental mental illness please see her article in the Mail on Sunday and a video piece she did for The Guardian.

January 2015

Happy New Year from everyone here at The Kidstime Foundation! We’re really looking forward 2015 – a very exciting time for us! Our Who Cares? pilot will be launching in the Spring and two of our young people will be launching their fundraising events shortly. Not to mention the on going work of all of our Kidstime Workshops (both existing and new!). Watch this space as we update you with all the goings on.

The Guardian Charity Appeal Blog wrote more about us on New Years day.

We thought we would start 2015 by hearing from some of the people directly helped by your donations. These young people are supported by the Kidstime Foundation, one of the charities chosen for this year’s appeal.

Read the post and watch the videos from our young people here.

December 2014

The Mail on Sunday has published an article on the Kidstime Foundation.

On December 14th Sarah Stacey of the Mail on Sunday wrote about The Kidstime Foundation. The article focuses on the plight of the young carers affected by parental mental health and tells the story of Kirsty Tahta-Wraith and Ambeya Begum, two former attendees of Kidstime Workshops who now work with the Foundation on various projects and frequently attend Kidstime Workshops as young helper.

Kidstime also allows Ambeya to drop her own defences: ‘I try to put on a front that I am always happy. Kidstime gives me a way of releasing my stress. It allows my emotions to flow. I am not angry with my mother but there are times I think it is too late for me to build a relationship: the only thing that I can do is to give her her medicine. That’s the most I can do. She has lost her qualities of being a mum. ’

Ambeya is clear that Kidstime should be available in every school. ‘It’s one of the only charities that teach children what mental illness is and how they can cope with it.

‘I always thought I was the only one but when I go to Kidstime every month, I see so many children. I would like to see all the kids in this situation learn that you can look after your own emotions as well as coping with mental illness as a family.’

Ambeya is now a trustee of the Kidstime Foundation.

Kirsty and her sister were referred to Kidstime 12 years ago. ‘Going to the sessions helped me to understand what to expect and how to deal with my dad’s episodes. It made them much less scary and took away most of the worry and panic.’

One problem Kirsty found was that ‘you can’t talk about it at school because you know it makes you different. But at Kidstime, children talk about mental health all the time so you can stop holding in your feelings. It’s comforting, and I felt more accepting of my dad.’

You can read the article here.

Our article is published as part of the Guardian and Observer Christmas Appeal.

On December 13th the Guardian journalist Bim Adewunmi wrote an article highlighting the work of The Kidstime Foundation featuring a number of young people who have attended and still attend Kidstime Workshops and have been part of the Who Cares? Project.

Angel, 16, whose mum has schizophrenia, has been coming to workshops for two years. She doodles and shuffles a deck of cards while the others speak. “In primary school, I was alone. I didn’t want to talk to anyone,” she says. “My mum was the only thing.”

Kidstime was a chance to meet other kids who had similar – and not so similar – home situations. “I liked meeting people who had different experiences – some worse, some better – and learning how they deal with it.” For her, the casual “mentoring” works in both directions. “If they’re younger, you can give them advice, and if they’re older you can get advice.” Everyone nods. “It’s not therapy – we’re all normal here, we don’t think we’re weird ‘cos ‘our mums are crazy’ – it’s support.” That support is something everyone in the room feels passionately about.

You can read the article here.

At the end of the session, the young people talk excitedly and loudly. But the chatter is filled with ideas on how to make Kidstime even bigger and far-reaching. There’s much to be done, and they’re eager to get started.

November 2014

The Kidstime Foundation has been selected as part of the Guardian and Observer Christmas Appeal.

On November 28th The Guardian and Observer launched their Christmas Charity Appeal. This year’s appeal theme is one of our most common and under-acknowledged health issues: mental illness.

“Our Christmas appeal will raise money for nine superb UK-based charities. Each offers innovative services in their particular areas of expertise, but all have a common mission, which is one we as a media organisation share: to challenge stigma and create more positive societal attitudes towards mental illness.”

Alan Rusbridge – Editor of The Guardian

We’re delighted to get the support and promotion this appeal will bring but also to be part of the discussion around mental health issues and those that need the support we can offer.

“Austerity and cuts have not been kind to mental health services, or the people who rely on them. Our appeal is a recognition of the importance of this vital area of health and social services, and a tribute to the innovative contribution of the voluntary sector.

Last year Guardian and Observer readers helped raise more than £340,000 for charities … Over the next few weeks our journalists will demonstrate – through words, film, pictures and data, online on our Christmas appeal blog, and via our two papers – the brilliant work of our appeal charities.”

You can read more at The Guardian.

October 2014

Young Carers Call to Action: No Suits event at London Zoo.

On Thursday 30th October around 25 young carers and young adult carers hosted a Call to Action “No Suits” event at London Zoo. Health professionals and decision-makers joined the young people to meet them, hear their stories, and discuss what health services can do to better support young carers and their families.

YCiF Champion Charlie spoke to Dr Alan Cooklin, watch the video below:

September 2014

Filming of Who Cares? Masterclass.

Young people from Kidstime workshops gathered to meet a Children’s Mental Health Worker, an Adult Mental Health Worker and an Approved Social Worker to quiz them on many frequently asked questions our young people have about mental health and being affected by a parent’s mental illness. The finished film will become part of the Who Cares? Project and be shown on the Kidstime Foundation website.

July 2014

Article in the Western Morning News.

The Western Morning News visited the filming of the Who Cares? Project at Stoke Damerel Community College to see the impact on the pupils involved. More than 30 of the College’s Year 10 GCSE Drama students took park in four days of filming at the college and on location. Students also contributed to the final script through improvisation sessions with the director and writer.

For one pupil the project changed his life. Joel Archibald’s story emerged during a workshop with the teenagers. He finally found the ability to break his self-imposed silence. He said he believed the film would help other young people. “It’s nice to see someone in your situation and watch what they do. When I saw the first Kidstime ‘Who Cares?’ film I thought that was me. That’s what I am hoping [our] film will achieve.”

All the young people who took part in the project found the project very insightful to the world of those caring for parents with mental illness. Drama teacher Catrina Garratt said “I was very proud of these young people and the care they took for each other.” She said classmates often do not realise that a young carer needs their help and support.

Read the full article here.