Giving a Helping Hand
YOUNG CARERS GIVEN A HELPING HAND
A charity which works with young carers has been given a helping hand by the WPH Charitable Trust.
Warwickshire Young Carers project has been awarded £5,000 which will immediately fund groups activities and one-to one support for young carers in their caring role, as well as giving them an opportunity to take a break, relax and have fun.
The money will also go towards helping young people with education issues and career aspirations.
Warwickshire Young Carers was established in 1999 and incorporated in 2003 to help identify and provide support for children and young people who care for siblings, parents, or grandparents. The charity currently works with more than 2,700 young individuals aged six to 25 across the county, providing information, advice and guidance on services available to young carers and their families.
The charity also arranges regular breaks, social events and leisure and educational opportunities to allow carers time out from their responsibilities, so that they are able to build and maintain friendships and can confide in people who are able to listen and help.
Warwickshire Young Carers is steered by a group of 10 trustees, each with a background in either teaching, caring or business. Several also have personal experience of caring.
Many children and young people supported by the charity have been a carer to the detriment of other aspects of their lives, such as their education and social opportunities.
Isolation is common, with many young carers missing out on after-school activities, a social life and even homework. A great many have shared fears of their relative becoming ill or even
dying and the family unit breaking down and being put into care.
Rachel Faulkner, CEO of Warwickshire Young Carers, said last year’s figures had risen to 2,700 reflecting the steady increase of young carers getting to know about the work of the organisation.
The charity has worked with other professionals, primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in partnership with the Henry Smith charity to raise awareness. Together they have helped educational establishments recognise the fact that some of their pupils and students are unidentified young carers which in turn may allow for greater flexibility to their attendance and education, and also help to reduce bullying.
The charity needs to raise at least £409,245 per year in order to maintain current service delivery and more to further develop the service, extending it to more ‘hidden’ carers.
Rachel said: “We work with some of the most complex families across the county. Every penny we receive, we are grateful for and as a team we are very much aware – be it £10 birthday money from a young carer to significant grants – these monies are not easily come by.
“We are thrilled to have been awarded the very generous donation by WPH – it will enable us to make a significant impact on the lives of Young Carers and their families.”