Supporting the younger generation

Funding level: Up to £1,000

Description

The Friends of Somerset Young Carers Project provides respite time and support for young carers across the rural county of Somerset.
The Project is run by a small group of volunteers and aims to provide activities that allow young carers an opportunity to socialise, share experiences and make friends with other carers. This is rare for most young carers, whose lives are consumed with their caring responsibilities, school commitments and other duties.
This respite does not happen at school, Scouts groups or other community groups for young people. The Friends of Somerset Young Carers project allows carers to be children first and carers second, by providing the time and space for fun.
Young carers spend their day-to-day lives looking after loved ones in a way that nobody else can. Whether they’re caring for a parent or sibling, they often spend their time helping their loved ones wash, dress and use the bathroom. On top of this, they can often be involved and sometimes in charge of financial management, household chores, monitoring and administration of medicine.
Being a young carer affects every aspect of the young person’s life; from their school attendance and their academic capability to their ability to make and maintain friendships, as well as their mental and physical health.
Friends of Somerset Young Carers not only provide an environment where young people can have fun and are children again, they also arrange classes such as cooking lessons, to help the carers develop skills safely.
Further still, the Project provides emotional support in the form of counselling, to which the young carers would not otherwise have access. The counselling helps the young people to understand their responsibilities as well as the illnesses with which their loved ones are suffering. Having someone listen to your problems and guide you makes an immeasurable but very real difference to your life.
On top of the respite care, counselling service and skills training, the Project also provides funding for individuals who are desperately in need. For example a family of three who wanted to go on a weeklong holiday to a caravan in Cornwall. They had managed to save £75 themselves and appealed to the charity for £100 to allow them to afford it. The funding was granted and the family were able to enjoy a rare treat together.
Funding appeals also come in for sports equipment or coaching, transport to school proms and alike. Each application for an individual grant is viewed compassionately and without judgement. The ethos behind the grant scheme is that if it benefits the child, the funds are approved.
Friends of Somerset Young Carers are perfectly placed to support a growing community of young people who provide a service that saves many other public agencies time and money. Yet without the proper support, young carers themselves risk growing into adults who need additional care and support.
With the appropriate funding, the Friends of Somerset Young Carers Project can continue to provide excellent care to a marginalised, hidden group of young people; helping them grow into well rounded, confident adults who make a significant contribution to society.

Friends of Somerset Young Careers

Moment of Pride

The Project is run by volunteers supporting young carers who do a job with which most adults would struggle. The Project is vital but is little known and unable to generate donations in any large quantity. We want to help them to help young carers now and in many years to come.

Location: Somerset, United Kingdom