Lotto boost to support Sheffield young carers’ services

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SHEFFIELD youngsters who care for sick or disabled relatives will be given a better deal after scooping nearly £1 million in Lottery funding.

Nearly 2,000 young people under 16 are caring for a dependent relative in the city.

Now the Sheffield project Views of Young Carers Explained has been given £975,056 of funding from the Big Lottery’s Youth in Focus programme.

It is one of only a handful of similar projects nationally to be given funding.

The money help forge better networks to help child carers access services and making sure their voices are heard and taken into account.

The project, which is backed by the council as well as other partners, is led by the Children and Young People’s Empowerment Project, Chilypep.

Lesley Pollard from Chilypep said: “These young people are often taking on a wide range of caring roles alongside managing school and all the other things young people have to cope with as part of growing up.

“Being a carer for a dependant relative can make children grow up far quicker than normal as they have to assume adult responsibilities from an early age.

“It is a huge task and often one which largely goes unnoticed, and can affect young carers’ access to social and recreational opportunities that others may take for granted.

“Things are particularly hard at times of change or transition, for example when children move from primary to secondary school or 16 plus provision, or when they move through the stages of adolescence to adulthood.

“We want to redress this balance.”

Council officer Jon Banwell said: “Young carers are hidden gems within our city. Now they have the opportunity to have their voices heard, their issues understood and a chance to improve their lives.”