A Christmas party has been held for 62 young carers from across the county who receive support for their caring roles through a local charity.
The group enjoyed dancing the afternoon away, trying out new circus skills and feasting on a buffet of treats at the Carers in Bedfordshire’s festive party, for young carers and sibling carers, held on Saturday, November 30.
The children and young people, aged between four and 16, are all affected by the illness or disability of a parent, brother or sister and most undertake caring responsibilities or household tasks that their peers at school do not have to do.
The Christmas party was held at Redborne Upper School, Ampthill, and is one of a range of activities that Carers in Bedfordshire offer young and sibling carers to help them acquire life skills, develop confidence, learn from each other, manage their school work and ultimately reduce the amount of caring they do at home.
Mrs Oliver, whose son Joe attended the party, has appreciated the support Carers in Bedfordshire has given her son and said: “He loved seeing his friends and really enjoyed the evening, especially the circus skills.”
The charity’s young carers’ support team offers one-to-one support, monthly clubs, residential trips and publishes a quarterly emagazine which is co-edited with the young carers themselves.
In total, nearly 800 young carers and sibling carers from the local area are known to Carers in Bedfordshire and can access support, but the team know there are many more young and sibling carers across the county who would benefit from help.
Rob Cunningham, Carers in Bedfordshire’s project co-ordinator said; “it’s so important that we work in partnership with schools and a range of professionals to help identify and support young people whose childhood and young adulthood may be affected by caring.”
Carers in Bedfordshire’s work is supported by Bedford Borough Council, Central Bedfordshire Council, the Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group as well as a range of foundations and private donors including the Harpur Trust, the Big Lottery and the Lloyds TSB Foundation.
The organisation has bases at the Pilgrim Centre in Brickhill and the Sea Cadet HQ in Station Road, Biggleswade. The chief executive officer is Helen Satterthwaite and president is MP Alistair Burt.
You can contact them on 0300 111 1919, or visit www.carersinbeds.org.uk