In Faversham there are 76 Young Carers, young people aged from 5 – 17 years who help to look after a relative or member of their household. The family member will have a disability or long-term illness, a mental health condition, or a drug or alcohol problem.
Faversham Rotary Club wanted to acknowledge the important role played by these young people in helping their families. Club members and friends collected and wrapped scarves and other gifts, which were distributed recently outside the Coffee Shop at Faversham Recreation Ground. To respect the privacy of the youngsters and their families, Club President Dave Darby gave the gifts to Beccy Goddard and Elise Monks from Kent Young Carers (KYC).
Many of the Young Carers, some with their parents, were at the Coffee Shop to collect their gifts. Other youngsters will receive their presents from Beccy and the KYC team over the coming days. Beccy said “these young people all do an amazing job in their caring roles.”
Faversham Rotary Club provided Christmas gifts to the Young Carers last year and also chocolate eggs at Easter. The Club is keen to continue its support for this group of young people whose important role is not always widely known outside their immediate families.
Young Carers provide all sorts of help and support for their family. They might help with practical tasks, like cooking, housework and shopping. They might collect prescriptions. They might need to help someone get out of bed or get dressed.
Some young carers enjoy being trusted with these responsibilities and they like to feel needed. They will also often have a good understanding of and show kindness to other people who have an illness or disability.
However the caring responsibilities mean that these young people can often be tired in school and may struggle to keep up with their studies. Young carers may be bullied for being “different” and they can feel isolated and anxious.
Kent Young Carers is part of the Imago Community and the aim of KYC is to reduce the negative and highlight the positive aspects of being a carer. KYC provides information, advice, support and social activities for young carers. The chance to meet up with other young people in a similar situation can be particularly valuable.
More information about Kent Young Carers can be found at www.imago.community
Submitted by David Kirsch-Mills on Wed, 22nd Dec 2021