Fund gives young carers proper break

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YOUNG carers in Northumberland are being offered up to £100 to help make the most of their summer.

Carers Northumberland is providing the grants through the Young Carers Opportunity Fund to pay for leisure activities and give the youngsters a break from their caring responsibilities.

The fund is open to young people up to the age of 18 who provide practical or emotional care for someone in their family who is ill, frail, disabled, or has mental health or substance misuse issues.

The 2001 Census identified 806 young carers in the county, aged between five and 18, who have caring responsibilities normally expected of an adult. Some were providing more than 50 hours of care a week.

Often young carers can miss out on leisure or social activities with other young people.

Helen Chown from Carers Northumberland said: “The Young Carers Opportunities Fund helps young people up to the age of 18 to get a break from their caring responsibilities.

“The fund has already been used in lots of interesting and different ways by young people for everything from swimming lessons, a spa visit or a short holiday to golf club membership or even concert and festival tickets.

“We’d like to get in contact with as many young carers as possible because this is a great time of year for them to make the most of the fund and enjoy an activity during the school summer holidays.”

The charity also offers a young carers guide, with details about support services, as well as an information helpline.

For more information call 0844 800 7354.