Write Here Write Now is very proud to have launched, supported and maintained a Young Carers Project in the South Birmingham area for over 12 months. ‘Who Cares?™’ is now in its second year and offering many activities, excursions and residential trips to young carers and their families in the local community. We created this project to support the needs of the community and to empower individuals to support each other to make their community a safer environment to live in. We were especially keen to support young people (Under 18’s) who were Carers who do not have the opportunities other young people have due to their commitment to caring for one or more members of their family.
Our events so far have been fun, engaging, varied and have been guided by the requests of the young carers themselves; these have included the following activities:
During 2016 we took our children and their families on various trips to places such as The Family Fun Zone at Star City.
We visited a Donkey Sanctuary and had a trip to Sutton Park for a picnic and a family sports day.
And we celebrated the end of the summer holidays with a big party! We had an inflatable disco, sumo wrestling and our usual arts and crafts. Oh yes, and there were also doughnuts, but not for long!
In addition to the activity hubs we also provide very relaxed ‘drop in’ coffee and cake mornings to provide a safe informal place for the families to get to know the team and ask any questions that they may have about ‘Who Cares?™’. These sessions were also beneficial to help families with signposting to other organisations and services in the community.
We have now obtained funding for our second year and are busy planning many new activity days and a very exciting residential trip in partnership with another charity.
Our starting point for this project was to enable children and young people who are carers to have the same rights as all children and young people. We were passionate that we should be pursuing the same opportunities for them. They should be able to learn, achieve, develop friendships and enjoy positive, healthy childhoods just like other children. We committed to working together locally across systems and in partnership with other local carers’ organisations, children’s charities and schools within the resources available.
We are proud that we have been successful in attracting young carers to our activity hub within our first 12 months and have built strong relationships with the families and retained young carers in our project. They have returned month on month to the activity hubs and we feel this is because we managed to succeed in providing a relaxed informal atmosphere where young carers and their families didn’t feel under any pressure. They were assured from the outset that there was no ‘agenda’ to Who Cares just a desire and passion to provide a safe happy space for young carers to enjoy themselves and feel comfortable around other children and families who also have similar home lives.
If you would like to find out more about Who Cares or indeed would like to attend as a volunteer then please contact us.