Celebrating the contribution of Reading’s young carers

The incredible work of young carers in Reading will be celebrated by Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC) on Young Carers Action Day tomorrow (Tuesday 16 March).

It has been a particularly difficult year for young carers because of the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in less social interaction with friends and family.

BFfC’s youth workers have been holding a weekly virtual youth club for young carers throughout the year and are holding a special session tomorrow.

Young people with caring responsibilities make a vital contribution to their family and the local community all year round but also need access to help and support themselves.

The weekly virtual sessions held by BFfC’s targeted youth worker team give young carers a chance to stay in touch with their peers and speak to members of the team about any concerns they have. They can also share their thoughts and feelings or just talk about what is going on in their lives.

Youth workers have also been contacting parents throughout the year to offer a listening ear and signpost to support where needed, including the offer of food parcels during the school holidays.

The team are sending out party packs to the young carers who take part in the virtual weekly sessions to hold a special get-together for Young Carers Action Day. These will include festival items, such as glow sticks and bunting, a drawing pad and game.

They will also receive Just Eat gift vouchers to allow them to have something to eat while taking part in a quiz and other fun activities during the session.

Blank cards and envelopes will also be sent out to give young people the chance to write down their thoughts and feelings around what it is like being a young carer and how the last year has been different for them. They can then be sent to the youth workers.

Deborah Glassbrook, Director of Children’s Services in Reading, said: “Our wonderful young carers make an amazing contribution to their families and the community. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all.

“The last year has been a difficult one for all children and even more so for young people with caring responsibilities who have been unable to get out and meet friends and other family members during lockdown.

“Young Carers Action Day is an opportunity to mark the incredible work of young carers but our youth workers are there to support them all year round.”

The Targeted Youth Team can be contacted by phone on 0118 937 6545 or email to ryp@brighterfuturesforchildren.org.

More information about the youth service, support for young carers, mental health advice and much more can be found on the Young People Zone on the Brighter Futures for Children website at: https://brighterfuturesforchildren.org/young-peoples-zone/young-carers/.