Volunteers are needed to help young carers

Volunteer Sarah (centre) with young carers Aleisha and Daisy SUS-150809-154802001

Volunteer Sarah (centre) with young carers Aleisha and Daisy SUS-150809-154802001

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A local charity has issued an appeal for volunteers who would like to make a difference to Young Carers’ lives.

The Hastings based Association of Carers are looking for people who have a few hours to spare each fortnight to take a young carer out on a regular basis and give them a break from their caring role.

Volunteer Coordinator Nadia Bodle says volunteers either take out one or two young carers at a time, usually once a fortnight, at the weekend or after school. “It is a fantastic opportunity to form a long lasting befriending relationship with a young person that establishes trust and helps them to learn healthy boundaries, increase their self-confidence and feel less isolated,” she said.

The Association currently have young carers waiting for a new volunteer. Until recently, Aleisha and Daisy went out regularly with their volunteer Sarah.

Due to a change of circumstances Sarah recently finished volunteering for the Association, but says it was a positive experience. “I have absolutely loved taking Daisy, aged 12, and 11 year old Aleisha, out,” she said. “We have been to so many different places together and it has been wonderful to watch them get to know each other, have fun and let off steam away from their caring role.”

Though sad to sad to have to say goodbye, Sarah says she would love to hear that a new volunteer has come forward to take the girls out, adding: “This is a really rewarding role and the Association of Carers provide excellent training and support.”

The Association of Carers Young Carers Befriending Service is available to young carers aged 6-14 living in Hastings and Rother. The service provides the opportunity for the young carer to go out on a regular basis to enjoy an activity of their choice with a carefully selected and thoroughly vetted volunteer.

The cost of the activity is supported up to the value of £10 per volunteer and child. Volunteers are encouraged to vary activities with the young carer. Outings vary from imaginary play in the park to trips to the cinema or swimming. Anyone interested in becoming a Young Carer Befriender is asked to call 01424 722 309 or visit the website at: www.associationof carers.org.uk