Professor Green wants to “raise awareness” of kinship families.
The 39-year-old rap star – whose real name is Stephen Manderson – was brought up by his grandmother Pat and has teamed up with the charity Kinship and Catherine, Princess of Wales to “bring change” for children who are brought up by another family member after attending a meeting of the support group in London on Thursday (25.06.23).
Speaking on UK TV show ‘Good Morning Britain’, he said: “It was amazing, it was not long after [my Nanny Pat’s] 80th birthday. She was nervous, and excited, made sure she got a new blouse the day before, my Aunty Karen did her hair the morning of. Having grown up in kinship care, I did a film on kinship carers and asked my nan afterward, I said ‘Did you know you’re a kinship carer?’ She said ‘Kinship what?!’ I think that’s really telling as to how under appreciated and ignored kinship carers are because as family it’s just expected of you to take on the important role of being someone’s parent. With over twice the number of kids in kinship care as there are in care, it feels really underrepresented. Raising awareness is one thing but bringing about change is incredibly important as well. My nan had already raised three kids single-handled already and then in a point at her life when she had time to build a life for herself she took on the responsibility of me.”
The ‘Read All About It’ hitmaker – who now has two-year-old son Slimane Ray with actress Karima McAdams – went on to explain that while his mother was “there consistently”, his father was there less-so but hates the term “broken home” for unconventional families.
Asked about his interaction with Catherine, he said: “She’s got incredible posture! I can confirm I’m taller but it doesn’t look like it! They had a conversation, what it was like the challenges that she faced, she was asked [my nan] if she would have appreciated the support group like Kinship the charity and she said ‘Not really, because I was too busy’, like so many people still are. I think it’s really important to raise awareness.”
“My mum was there consistently and has been throughout my life, but she was really young when she had me, she was 16, my dad was 18. My dad was less consistent, much so and that created real problems. But I hate the term broken home, my home wasn’t broken.”
“They say you never know until you have your own, and there’s two parts to that. Yes, it’s true, you can not possibly know what goes on until you have your own kids but that’s because no one is really that honest. I think there’s a lot of fear around being honest about the difficulties people face. My line on is it is that it is wonderful and stressful but it’s more wonderful than it is stressful!”