A special fundraising drive is being launched today to help secure vital ongoing support for Harrogate’s children and young people who look after a parent or sibling with an illness or disability.
Organised by local charity Carers’ Resource, the Harrogate Young Carers Need You campaign is raising funds so children – some as young as seven – can get support at times of crisis as well as a much-needed break to enjoy their childhood.
It is being launched today which is Young Carers Awareness Day (Thursday, 26 January 2017) – a national day of action which puts young carers and the daily challenges they face firmly in the spotlight.
A young carer is a child who helps look after a relative who has a disability or suffers from poor physical or mental health, or an addiction.
Individuals, businesses, community organisations and groups, sports clubs and schools, are being urged to back the campaign, make donations or fundraise for young carers.
And Harrogate solicitors Raworths has announced Harrogate Young Carers as its Charity of the Year – and has already planned a packed programme of fundraising activities.
Harrogate Young Carers was set up more than 20 years ago and has supported young carers since then.
There are about 250 young carers helped by the service at present in the Harrogate area, which includes Knaresborough, Ripon, Boroughbridge, Pateley Bridge.
The campaign aims to raise £50K per year to fund support through one-to-one support, youth clubs and outings.
Chris Whiley, Director of Carers’ Resource, said: A young carer’s role is relentless and whether they are at home or at school they are carrying the responsibility and worries of their demanding role.
Today we have the perfect opportunity to launch this important campaign and reach out to the community to help us continue to provide these young carers with a break from caring.
And we are delighted to have Raworths pledging their year-long support right from the start – we hope many other businesses and individuals will do the same.
Some young carers have very adult responsibilities, such as cooking, cleaning, and shopping, making sure their parents take their medication and regularly looking after younger siblings – and that’s all on top of school and trying to enjoy being young.
A young carer’s life can be a far cry from ‘care-free’, they are often worried and tired and it can mean they become isolated and miss out on typical childhood experiences.
This is the gap we fill with our popular youth clubs and wonderful trips which help them just be themselves and one-to-one support can be crucial at times of crisis to help them cope.
It’s an ongoing appeal – there are estimated to be two young carers in every classroom – and their need for support and recognition never stops.
Anne Wells, Fundraising Co-ordinator at Carers’ Resource, is the main contact for any fundraising support or donations from individuals, businesses or organisations.
Anne said: This is a very exciting start to 2017 and we hope that others will follow Raworths and nominate Harrogate Young Carers Need You as their Charity of the Year.
If anyone would like to organise an event to support our young carers I would love to hear from them.
We are asking people to “sponsor” a young carer: £10 per month sponsors a young carer to attend youth clubs and go on trips, and with sponsorship of £20 per month we can also give one-to-one support.
If businesses can support us with a one off donation, £2,000 would pay for a day trip out, and a half-day activity locally for a group of young carers.
- Carers’ Resource Young Carers service was set up in 1995 and supports about 250 young carers in the Harrogate district, which includes Knaresborough, Ripon, Boroughbridge and Pateley Bridge.
- The average age of a young carer is 12 – young carers supported are as young as seven.
- Carers’ Resource Young Carers provides one-to-one support at times of crisis, youth clubs and trips in the holidays
- During a packed 2016 summer programme 136 young carers went on at least one of the 21 trips we organised.
- In every class it is estimated there are two young carers. Almost half didn’t let their teachers know they are a young carer.
- Two-thirds of young carers report they are bullied in school.