More support needed for grandparents raising grandkids


Julie Herbert has raised her grandson Ryan since he was eight months old.

She and her husband took custody of Ryan after he was shaken as a baby, which left him with permanent brain damage.

At least 7000 grandparents in New Zealand are currently raising their grandchildren

Julie says Ryan, now 16, is “a laugh a minute” and keeps her on her toes – but she says people in her situation need more support.

She thanks the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust, who have lobbied for more financial assistance for grandparents. 

Julie is also grateful to Bruce Hopkins, a Kiwi actor who on Sunday began walking the length of New Zealand to fundraise for the trust. 

“I tip my hat, I say thank you every night and hope you haven’t got blisters,” says Julie.

Bruce, whose journey is estimated to take five months, has a Givealittle page for donations.

Julie Herbert talks with Mark Sainsbury about her experience with raising a grandchild.