CHRISTMAS is a day where children play with their presents – so they say.
However for around 4,000 children and young people in Solihull they spent the day looking after someone at home who requires care.
For many young carers Carers Trust Solihull say duties can increase with school closed for the Christmas period.
The Streetsbrook Road charity says caring often impacts on children’s childhood experiences due to taking on roles usually associated with adult life – including personal care, medical assistance, domestic tasks and emotional support to a loved one, parent or sibling.
In families where long term ill health and disability exists, Christmas can bring extra financial challenges, loneliness and isolation for these young carers.
But with the right support they can still enjoy the magic of Christmas.
Solihull charity, Carers Trust Solihull supports carers of all ages, including children and young people aged five to 25.
Offering respite, one to one support and opportunities to learn, grow, develop, achieve and enjoy childhood experiences around caring – all year round.
During the Christmas period, the charity has been giving young carers a chance to join in the festive fun with a visit Santa, a Christmas meal and attend young carers clubs.
It is giving them regular breaks from caring, a chance to recharge their batteries and realise they are not alone, say the charity.
This year they are going to the pantomime, and joined the Solihull Round Table Santa Sleigh rounds.
One lucky five year old young carer went for dinner and had Christmas stories with Santa.
Gina Ward, team manager, said: “Local colleges are making a push for young adult carers to become ambassadors and we are recruiting new peer mentors – where young carers support each other – ready for the New Year.
“Young carers will be continuing to work with Solihull Council to design and launch a new young carer’s promise (charter) ready for Young Carers Awareness Day in February 2019.
“Services are free for carers of all ages and we rely on donations to support our work.”
For more about support on hand to carers or how to support them contact Gina Ward on 0121 788 1143.