Nan Kids @ Deptford X Festival: 9-18 July
Updated: Jul 6
Nan Kids photograph collage by Ilmė Vyšniauskaitė (www.ilmevysnia.com)
This all started in 2012. My grandparent-carers had died and I was awarded a bursary from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust to travel the US and meet families like mine, where grandparents have to step in to raise their grandchildren.
As Michelle Chappel of Grandparent Family Apartments in the Bronx said to me "If a child has to be brought up by grandparents, it's never for a good reason."
So I started to collect stories and record them. Stories about 'Nan Kids' - as Russell Brand self-describes us - or 'kinship care families' (the wider term that mostly only social services and teachers seem to know).
Nan Kid stories never get told. There's a number of reasons for this: quite often, grandparents are worried their grandchildren will get taken away if people find out.
During lockdown, I extensively interviewed two fellow Nan Kids I know really well. Alicia and Adèle, both pictured so well here by Ilme one day in Greenwich last November when the first lockdown was lifting.
I've also started to interview other 'Nan Kids' thanks to Arts Council funding. Before that though, Reel Rebels Radio, Sound and Music and Vicki Bennett have all helped. Over this summer I'll be developing 'Nan Kids' into a larger scale project with a number of voices and platforms.
But from this Friday, I'll first be presenting short pieces in St Nicholas' Church and Job Centre pub as part of Deptford X Festival.
You can tune into the online launch or come see the outdoor presentations by clicking on the links below and booking a free ticket.
Fri 9 July 5pm Deptford X online launch on Zoom
Sun 11 July 6pm St Nicholas Church
Mon 12 July 4pm Job Centre
Tues 13 July 4pm Job Centre
Weds 14 July Job Centre
Fri 16 July 6pm St Nicholas Church
Sat 17 July 4.30pm St Nicholas Church
I hope you can make it.