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Published: September 9, 2020 | Updated: September 9, 2020

Delight as National Lottery funding means that online services for young carers can continue

By Andrew Diprose, editor

An online programme created for young carers during lockdown can continue thanks to National Lottery funding.

MYTime Young Carers has received £26,500 for its online services.

Krista Sharp, Executive Director, said the charity was “absolutely delighted” to receive the financial support.

She added: “During lockdown, we worked extremely hard to continue providing support to young carers across Dorset.

“We created a brand new online provision, the MYTime Youth Group, which enables young carers to come together on a weekly basis, allowing them to spend time with one another and to take a break from their caring responsibilities.

“There has never been a service like this previously because of the enormous distances young carers from Dorset would have had to travel to attend.”

Krista, pictured left, said a survey by the Carers Trust of young carers across the UK about the impact of Covid had revealed 69 per cent reported feeling less connected and 66 per cent more stressed.

She said: “The funding will mean that our online MYTime Youth Group can continue.

“It has enabled them to spend time with other young carers, take part in a huge range of activities from circus skills to creative writing and take a break from their caring responsibilities.

“All of the young carers involved in this programme have reported feeling less stressed and less lonely as a result of taking part.

“We have also been able to run several Making Memory Days with the young carers.

“We have had some brilliant days out over at the Brenscombe Outdoor Centre, seeing our young carers take on some incredible high rope challenges.

“We have also had groups using our R&R Retreat Centre, enjoying some valuable downtime and having the chance to hang out with one another.”

MYTime Young Carers seeks to provide young carers aged five to 25 with support, opportunities and friendship.

In the UK, 166,000 out of an estimated 700,000 young carers are registered.

It means the vast majority face the challenges of caring for a vulnerable relative without support from their school or local authority.

As a result the scale and nature of challenges young carers face are hidden and often misunderstood.