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Store colleagues worked hard for the money by riding bikes, baking cakes, organising quizzes, hosting carol singers, holding raffles and tombolas and hosting bag packs. Young carers and volunteers also busked and collected more than £1,470 in the store by standing near a sign that said: “Spend a Penny, donate a penny, or more.”
Local charity Carers’ Resource runs the Harrogate Young Carers service, supporting under-18s who care for a parent or sibling with a physical or mental illness, a disability, or an addiction to drugs or alcohol. The charity also supports adult unpaid carers across the district.
Holly Hawthorne, charity co-ordinator at M&S Harrogate, said:
I think I would sum up the year as a fantastic partnership. The effort and passion that the Carers’ Resource volunteers have shown has been amazing and it was great to have them holding a bucket in store on so many occasions.
A real highlight for me was the three talented young carers, Freya, Leah and Honor, who came into store at Christmas to play ukuleles and the saxophone. They did a brilliant job and customers loved it.
Holly met young carers Madi, Amelia and Freya last week to present the cheque and hand out lunchtime treats.
Madi recently joined the Harrogate Young Carers service, which is run by charity Carers’ Resource. Amelia and Freya have both been supported by the service since they were seven. They are regular attendees at young carer youth clubs and have enjoyed many trips. They can also ask for one-to-one support from the service if they need it.
Freya, 17, says the friends she has made at Harrogate Young Carers have been with her for 10 years and “they are the ones I go to when something’s happened at home”.
Carers’ Resource fundraiser Anne Wells says:
What a wonderful year it’s been. So many people have helped to raise money, but also raise the profile of carers with shoppers. Thanks to everyone who gave their money, time or commitment to us and M&S over the past year.
Our young carer services in Harrogate do not receive funding from statutory sources, so we run trips, one-to-one support and youth clubs entirely using generous donations such as this.
I would particularly like to thank Holly and also M&S customer assistant Daniel Hutton, who nominated us to be charity of the year in the first place and has been a long-standing supporter.
If anyone feels they could nominate us as a charity of the year at their workplace or at a group they attend, or if they could hold a fundraiser at their work or school, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 01423 500555.
Young carers can be put in touch with Carers’ Resource by a family member, teacher, GP or other professional, or they can get in touch themselves. See https://youngcarersresource.org/ or call 01423 500555
- Carers’ Resource is a charity that gives emotional and practical support to any unpaid carers across the Bradford district, Harrogate and Skipton areas.
- One in 12 children is a young carer, according to estimates by Dearden & Becker. Based on the 2011 census figures, the number of young carers in Yorkshire and the Humber therefore works out at just under 85,000.
- Anyone can become a carer at any time. Carers come from all walks of life.
- Because so much of young carers’ time is taken up with caring, they may not have time to play, go to after-school activities or socialise with their peers. They can become isolated and, without support, young carers can get tired, anxious and lonely.
- Young carers are more likely to be bullied than their peers. A quarter (26%) of young carers surveyed by the University of Nottingham and Carers Trust in 2013 said they were bullied at school specifically because of their caring role.
- Young carers have significantly lower educational attainment at GCSE level, the equivalent to nine grades lower overall than their peers (i.e. the difference between nine B’s and nine C’s), The Children’s Society found in 2013.