Twelve young carers aged between 11 and 16 had to sleep on the dining room floor of a semi-flooded youth hostel after being stranded by floods yesterday during a day trip to an adventure centre.
The young people, along with two workers from the Harrogate Young Carers team at local charity Carers’ Resource, were on an outing at Marrick Priory outdoor centre when they decided to cut the trip short due to heavy rain.
Their medium-sized bus was diverted by emergency services at the road to Leyburn, so they went back on themselves towards Grinton to try to find another route to the A1. But they were turned around again by the emergency services when they tried to access other routes.
Carers’ Resource young carer head of service Helen Prince said:
Our two young carer workers Sarah and Josh told me they had spotted a youth hostel on the way through Grinton, so they filed that away in their minds in the unlikely event that they couldn’t get home. When they were turned around again, the workers decided they should all head for the youth hostel.
The group got to Grinton Lodge youth hostel at about 4.30pm to discover the building was damaged by the floods and none of the dormitories were habitable. The fire brigade and mountain rescue team informed our staff that the only way out at that stage was by helicopter.
They were all safe and warm so they decided the best plan was to stay at the youth hostel until the morning. The staff there were fantastic. They managed to find pillows and sheets so the young people and staff could bed down in the dining room.
Young carer Beth Thurlow, 14, of Harrogate, said:
Water was flowing over and around the bridge and was flooding the roads and fields. The street outside was like a river after only 30 minutes. The roads were so waterlogged that the splashes went right up the bus.
It was unexpected that we would be staying the night but we enjoyed it. The youth hostel staff were amazing at accommodating us, even with our surprise arrival. They allowed us to sleep in the lounge with plenty of bedding – although we made a fort first. They even gave us food, drinks and snacks.
It was pretty fun, even with the sheep baaing outside the window, making us all laugh. The young carer workers Sarah and Josh were really good at getting us all sorted.
Beth’s mum Lesley said:
I was surprised but I knew she was in safe hands. We’ve stayed at youth hostels before, so I knew she’d be fine.
Head of service Helen added:
There were two sofas and I’m told they held a lucky dip between the young carers to find out who’d get to sleep on them. They all made the best of it until 6.50am, when they were told the road to Leyburn had reopened.
Carers’ Resource chief executive Chris Whiley said:
We are all very proud of how the young carers and our staff responded during this emergency situation, and we are thankful that the youth hostel staff were so accommodating and went the extra mile to help us out.
The young people took it in their stride and maybe even managed to look on it as an adventure. Sarah and Josh are now enjoying a well-deserved rest.
A YHA spokesman said:
We were delighted to accommodate the young carers in their hour of need. We hope to welcome them back in nicer weather.
A young carer is anyone under the age of 18 who has a parent or sibling with a physical or mental illness, a disability, or an addiction to drugs or alcohol.