Young carers spoke from the heart at a special event organised to mark Young Carers Awareness Day at Beaverbrooks House on Thursday 31st January 2019.
Professionals listened. Up above the showcase facility designed by BBC DIY SOS they watched – and some wept – as young carers and peer support ambassadors put their case for this year’s YCAD mental health theme.
Their message: #careformetoo. Help us reach others who haven’t got support.
Statistics reveal one in five secondary school children have a caring role – and that may well have started in primary school.
Speakers included last year’s young carer of the year Joseph Fryer, watched with pride by his mum Amanda, for whom he cares, and stepdad Andrew Pratt-Fryer.
Joe declared: “We want to be the voice of young carers in schools.”
Shelbie, 15, presented a poem in tribute to her mum – later featured in a podcast by Molly Brewer of BBC Lancashire.
“You may not be able to live like you used to, you grew into a new person, a stronger person, someone who I grew so much closer to. you’re my hero, even though you’re leaning on me.”
Shelbie earlier told The Gazette: “This place is a safe haven. Every town should have one. It’s helped so much. I’d like to see more money going to it to make even more of a difference.”
Dave and Ann Clarke of Kirkham Masonic Lodge handed over a cheque to fundraiser Terry Hodkinson for £700 specifically for young carers.
Martin Long, chairman of Blackpool Business Leaders Group, spoke about the need to “give something back” to the community. Other professionals were pictured pledging support to the campaign.
Kerry Dalton, who has led the Young Carers Team for the last 12 months, concluded: “Our Young Carers Awareness day event gave the opportunity for local professionals to get to know these wonderful young people, by listening to poems written by young carers, engaging in respite sessions and learning of the wonderful work of Blackpool Carers Centre.
“For me, it is the best job in the world.”
CLICK HERE to read the Blackpool Gazette article.