A coalition of grandparents raising their grandchildren have organised a "Kinship Care Kids Games" in Raymond Terrace for children from across the state who are living in the care of relatives.
The Rivergum Grandparents as Parents support group, based in the Port Stephens' town, has devised a full day of activities in February next year. Participants can try their hand at everything from yoga to sailing free of charge.
Rivergum secretary Gavin Breen, who raised his now adult grandson, said he came up with the idea for a "day of normality" for children in kinship care while watching the Invictus Games.
He said children usually came into the care of members of his group because of parents' drug and alcohol use, domestic abuse or because the child was orphaned.
"A lot of these kids feel that nothing belongs to them anymore because they have lost their mum and dad, virtually," Mr Breen said. "The kids start to feel they're not the same as their peers.
"I will be pushing the fact that, for the kids, this is all about you having fun, it's for you and something you can own.
"It's about involving the kids and getting them together. We've noticed within our group that the more the kids mix in with each other, the more they mix in with the community."
Mr Breen said he was hoping at least 100 children would participate in the event in February. His group has spent almost a year making preparations for the day, which will kick off with a Little Athletics session at Vi Barnett Field in Raymond Terrace.
"Then there's a choice for the kids whether they want to go to lawn bowls, ten pin bowling, squash, yoga or sailing. Then we'll do lunch down at the Lakeside football ground. We'll do some swimming down at the pool there, then afterwards Bunnings are supplying a sausage sizzle for the kids and their families."
He thanked the businesses and community groups in the area who had offered to provide services for free or at a heavily discounted price for the day.
Mr Breen said he also wanted to make sure kinship carers felt supported.
"About 90 per cent of the time grandparent carers are pensioners," he said. "These children come into their care damaged, they need help with mental health and things like that. This is just a tiny bit that goes towards that."
Secretary of the Raymond Terrace Athletics Centre Deidre Hall said the organisation was proud to be part of the games.
"Sport is good for self-esteem, self-confidence and socialisation," she said.
September 8 to 14 is Foster and Kinship Care Week.
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