Young Carers Project Cowal & Bute
A story by Crossroads Caring for Carers Cowal & Bute SCIO
We provided a 3 day residential to Ardroy Outdoor Centre for young carers aged 8-12 years from Cowal & Bute.
The young people took part in Canoeing, Jacob’s Ladder, Splosh, Labyrinth and other activities! In addition, the project supported young carers aged 12-18 years to attend the Scottish Young Carers Festival.
What Young Carers Project Cowal & Bute did
During our after school activities and lunch time groups we talked about the residential activities, we invited parents to an evening session to discuss the residential activities, complete the paperwork required and used photos and websites to show the kinds of activities children & young people would be taking part in.
We invited young carers aged between 8 and 12 years to the residential activities through letters & consent forms sent out in the post. Out of a possible 20,13 young carers attended the residential activity at Ardroy Outdoor Centre. During the Ardroy Residential young carers took part in Canoeing, Jacob's Ladder, Splosh, Labyrinth among other activities. This was the first time the group had participated in a residential activity with the project. They thoroughly enjoyed the activities and spending time together!
To support the residential a project volunteer also attended and enjoyed spending the time getting to know the young people. Chatter between the young carers had been building up over the months leading to the Scottish Young Carers Festival and young carers were looking forward to taking part and meeting other young people from around Scotland. 8 completed consent forms were returned, but due to a variety of different circumstances 5 young carers participated in the Festival residential.
The young people had a great time taking part in a variety of craft activities, silent disco, giant inflatables, bingo amongst other activities, with one young person entering the Festivals Got Talent event! She loved it! They all made friends with young carers from other projects and have stayed in touch through the power of social media!
At the festival they made friends with young carers from other projects and has stayed in touch with them.
Now she has fun with others, has made friends across Scotland and has a voice. She tells us this helps her in her caring role at home.
What Crossroads Caring for Carers Cowal & Bute SCIO has learnedWithout the funding young carers of 8 to 12 years would not have been able to have 3 days at Ardroy Outdoor Centre, they learnt many new skills and time for themselves and we got to know them better. It gave us an opportunity to chat to them about the project, what do they want us to provide and how can we support them. It was definitely a challenge to get everyone to settle for bed in all the excitement of the trip!
Because we are in such a rural area accessing activities such as the Scottish Young Carers Festival is costly, with minibus hire, ferries and lunch stops on route the costs add up. Funding from The Short Breaks Fund helped to support young carers to attend the festival.
As staff for the project it has given us talking points when we are in schools, we can talk about the activities young carers have taken part in, giving us opportunities to raise awareness of young carers and the local support available to them.