Grants from the Meggit Trust Fund and Erskine Murray have enabled Young Carers at VASL to benefit from experiences and days out that they otherwise would have not been able to take part in.
On their recent trip to Aquapark at Rutland Water the young carers had a brilliant day. It was a fairly physically demanding activity and a couple of the young people had to dig deep to get stuck in, but they did really well and lots of fun was had by all. The weather was perfect; warm and sunny, and they had a lovely picnic afterwards on the banks of the lake, watching the other swimmers and laughing at their earlier fun. The minibus was quiet on the way home as they all fell asleep! Many thanks to Meggit Trust Fund and Erskine Murray for raising funds for them to be able take the young people on a really super trip.
The Young Carers Activity Group gives young people a chance to be away from their caring role for day trips where they can relax and enjoy themselves, and have fortnightly evening sessions where they meet at the Cube where the facilities are fantastic and lots of recreational options are on offer. Young Carers choose to play games, make music (many bring instruments), talk to a trusted adult, access informal education e.g. self esteem building activities/drugs awareness or just hang out and relax.
Being a young carer has its own issues and to be able to be part of a group where everyone understands is extremely beneficial. A professional youth worker is also on hand to provide support. In the school holidays the group delivers at least 6 day trips to give the Young Carers a chance to do fun, unusual, adventurous activities that their families may not be in a position to provide. They have done quad biking, segway, Aquapark and flying in light aircraft.
At Aquapark: “That was brilliant! I got well scared at the top of that big slide, but jumped in the end!”
They have plenty of activities lined up for 2020 including baking, mosaic art, cooking and an evening of team building games. During February half-term VASL are taking a group of the young carers for a day of go-karting fun (plus lunch in the café) at the indoor go karting arena in Corby. In the Easter holidays, there will be a trip to Leicester for an afternoon of laser quest fun, and at May half term, young carers have the opportunity to take part in a two-day residential at Beaumanor Hall in Leicestershire, where they will take part in abseiling, high ropes and climbing.
One of the young carers said: “I made new friends. I was worried! I’m glad I came tonight to come in because I thought people would stare and I didn’t know anyone, but they were nice.”
This is a successful and popular group which takes Young Carers from age 11 until they turn 18. They have 20 members and receive about 6 new referrals a year. Fortnightly 2-hour evening sessions are offered in term time, and 6 day trips. Free transport can be provided if needed using a network of volunteer drivers with escorts. This is crucial for the 70% of our members who do not live in Market Harborough itself, as public transport is lacking or age-inappropriate. VASL provide the only Young Carers group in Harborough district which covers 230 square miles.