St Helens carers’ centre receives £7,750 donation courtesy of Lancashire Freemasons

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A decorated bird house from the week one activity competition.

Submitted by Wayne Devlin

As lockdown proceedings begin to ease around the country, with non-essential businesses now open and pubs reopening from July 4, the UK’s economy faces a difficult return to normality.

The charity sector has been hit particularly hard, with many organisations experiencing severe financial losses as a result of cancelled events amid the pandemic.

As a consequence of Covid-19, St Helens Young Carers’ Centre, a carers’ centre based in St Helens, Merseyside, has been unable to provide their normal range of social activities.

In an effort to alleviate the burden, The West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity has made a £7,750 donation to the centre.

The centre supports 465 young carers in the St Helens borough between the ages of 6 and 18, who look after sick, disabled and mental health affected parents and adults.

The lockdown, especially for the children caring for those with drug and alcohol problems, has created a greater ‘care load’, stress and isolation.

The donation is being used to provide activity boxes for the young carers, allowing them to get involved in remote respite activities, have some fun, share the fun online and engage with others in the same situation.

Jane Dearden, of the St Helens Young Carers’ Centre, said: “The grant was a great success and gave us the opportunity to bring this project to its full potential.

“The Centre is now looking to capitalise on the project to further help young carers remotely in the future”.

In an innovative form of respite, the young carers completed their home activities as a competition and then sent in videos showing their results which were then judged and the winners announced.

The centre offers emotional and practical support to young carers which includes weekly respite activities.

The aim of the centre’s work is to ensure that the carers do not fall behind in school, do not miss out on social opportunities and are able to enjoy a social life outside of their caring duties. In doing so, the centre hopes that the carer’s can realise their own academic potential.

If you would like to view the young carers’ competition videos, you may do so by visiting their website here.

 

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