Carers Week - Reaching out

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Carers Week - Reaching out

08 October 2014

During Carers Week, which took place 9-15 June, Bracknell & Wokingham College opened its doors to representatives of KIDSBerkshire Carers Service and Wokingham, Bracknell & Districts Mencap; raising awareness and offering advice to students about caring and the various support systems available.

Karen Harrison, Family Liaison Worker from Wokingham, Bracknell & Districts Mencap, wanted to give the students a direct opportunity to find out more about young carers:

“It’s difficult, particularly for young carers, to come forward and say they are caring for someone. We’re here to reach out to any young carers who aren’t receiving the support they need, while raising awareness to others who may know someone that could benefit from our help. “

A 2011 census revealed an estimated 300-500 unidentified young carers in the Bracknell area alone. And, according to KIDS’ Coordinator for the Young Carers project in Bracknell, Jenny Plumb, the charity is working hard to get this figure down by discovering the area’s young carers:

“Through events like this with schools and colleges, we can work together to find those young carers who don’t know what help is out there, KIDS works with families and Young Carers to develop tailored support.”

Bracknell & Wokingham College GCSE student Chloe Barton, 17, is one such individual who charities like KIDS are striving to support:

“I care for my mum who has ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) and also for my brothers. I found out about the Young Carers project a couple of years ago through our local GP. The organisers are great people who really support young carers like me; and the meetings and activities give us a bit of time away from our responsibilities once a week with other people who understand what you’re going through.

“Through KIDS, I’ve made some great friends, my confidence has grown, they’ve helped me health-wise, and I’ve even now got a part-time job with them on Saturdays helping out with the Disabled Young People’s club.”

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