We provide positive activities for young people who have limited opportunities in life. Young carers, due to the role they play at home helping to care for a family member who may be suffering from, for example, an illness, disability, mental health problems or drug or alcohol addition, may not have the same opportunities to socialise as other young people. A chance to escape their day-to-day pressures and be a child again is vital in order to build their confidence, resilience and self-esteem.
Thanks to the 2019 Norfolk Superhero Challenge, we’re able to provide support to young carers in Norfolk and offer them access to positive, social activities. The Quadrathlon, which took place in June at Burnham Overy Staithe, raised over £100,000 for our charity’s work with young carers.
We’re delighted to say that this fundraising is already having an impact as this August we were able to send a group of 15 young carers on a residential activity weekend in North Norfolk.
Some were initially apprehensive, but upon arrival at Kingswood Activity Centre in Overstrand their fears eased as they got to know each other. The Kingswood staff introduced them to the centre and the activities they would be able to enjoy, which included archery, abseiling, aeroball (basketball on trampolines), team building challenges, a campfire and a trip to the beach.
The opportunity to have a break from their caring roles at home was hugely valued and, despite some initial nerves and anxiety about staying away from home, a great time was had by all. For some of the young people, it was the first time they had been on a residential trip away from their families. This presented an opportunity to overcome their fears and build their confidence and self-esteem when other opportunities to do so may be limited.
Young Carers Development Manager, Alice Stevenson explains more about the trip:
“At the end of the weekend I asked each young carer to tell us one thing they enjoyed, one thing that scared them and one thing they had done for the first time. Every single one of them had done at least one thing they had never done before and at least one thing that scared them! For many, the thing that scared them was climbing the abseiling tower and, for those who conquered it, abseiling.”
Alice continues: “Most of them didn’t know each other before the trip and it was great to see them make good friendships and working together as a team to help each other achieve the challenges.
My favourite part of the weekend was walking down to the beach and watching them play with each other in the sea.”
Since returning from the trip, families have been in touch to explain how much their children enjoyed themselves. One Mum said:
“Thank you for the Young Carers camp at Kingswood. Leaving L in flood of tears on Friday I found particularly hard, but receiving a call in the early evening was amazing. Such a change from the daughter who left with anxiety, butterflies and ‘I can’t do this!’
“Suddenly the little caterpillar had spread her wings and flown as a confident butterfly. She couldn’t have done that without your support and for that I’m eternally grateful. She’s come home smelling of camp fire, with an unused towel (no surprise there!) but so full of herself and the fun she’s had and the friends she’s made. Only one question – when can I go again Mum? Thank you once again!”
Thank you once again to everybody involved with Norfolk Superhero 2019 for giving local young carers opportunities such as this. Money raised by Norfolk Superhero will also be used to fund four new support groups for young carers. If you would like to learn more, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I consider myself very lucky to work for The Benjamin Foundation- I have been encouraged and supported to take on more challenges and can honestly say I am never bored!