Solihull young carers support programme wins national award and funding - The Solihull Observer

Solihull young carers support programme wins national award and funding

Solihull Editorial 5th Jul, 2018 Updated: 5th Jul, 2018   0

A SOLIHULL young carers support programme has won a national award and gained a further three years of funding.

The Peer Mentoring and Befriending Project for carers aged between five and 18 years is provided by Carers Trust Solihull – an independent charity supporting carers since 2002.

The scheme provides a network of support for young people who can have their lives severely limited by caring responsibilities.

It matches the older and more mature young carers the charity supports with their younger peers to provide counselling and important insights to boost confidence and interpersonal skills.

It has been awarded the equivalent of £120,000 over three years from national charity Children in Need.

The project has also won the national Children and Young Peoples Now, Young Carers Award.

Gina Ward, manager of Solihull Young Carers, said: “The project is so important because the older young carers can give something back to their younger peers.

“Given that many young carers come to us lacking confidence, a support network and any social circle this project, along with our other activities, is really transformative and literally gives young people a chance for a normal childhood.

“The knock on impact for these children, their families, and wider society will pay back the community in multiple ways.”

Carers Trust Solihull works with 500 young people a year and has 400 others on their books but say it can be limited by its capacity.

But the project helps to make the young carers their own resource in a nurturing and developing way.

The charity’s specialist workers ensure the matches between children are appropriate and that they are available to support them at any point.

Gina continued: “We are well aware the numbers of carers is rising by around 1,000 each year and while many do not need ongoing support young carers usually will.

“Fortunately, many carers only require a limited amount of support, respite, and assistance albeit on a regular basis.”

The charity says the funding will help it continue its work and employ new members of staff.

It estimates around 275 children will benefit over the three years.

As we reported in April, the charity reported the number of carers needing support has risen by a third in the last two years.

The charity is appealing for new volunteers to support carers and those willing to help it with fundraising or donations.


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