Voluntary Action South Leicestershire has been running the Young Carers Activity Group for 12-17 year olds in Market Harborough for several years, and has now started welcoming eleven year olds whose siblings are already members.
The group provides a fortnightly evening respite group of 2 hours, in addition to days out and extracurricular activities. The group is joined by referral only and run in conjunction with Supporting Leicestershire Families.
With funding of £3,148 from Meggitt Trust Fund, VASL’s Young Carers Group in Market Harborough continues to provide normal childhood experiences for around eighteen 12 to 17 year old carers, whose families are often unable to because of transport issues, access problems due to disability or – most often – sheer lack of funds.
In addition to day trips over the summer holidays to venues such as Thorpe Park, Rutland Water and Brixworth Country Park, the young people have also been able to undertake a week long FireSkills course with Leicester Fire and Rescue Service.
The group is extremely aware of the fact that the individual donations they receive are usually one-offs which will not be repeated, whereas the funding from the Meggitt Trust represents a steady, longer-term income stream which helps them plan for the future.
The project continues to benefit young carers affected by issues such as disability, chronic illness, mental health problems or substance misuse, injecting some much-needed normality into their lives which can otherwise revolve solely around school and their carer duties at home.
For information on how to set up your own charitable giving fund, please contact Katy Green at Leicestershire & Rutland Community Foundation on 0116 262 4804.