Not for Profit

Published: February 3, 2020 | Updated: February 3, 2020

You’re not alone: Over 100 young carers from eight schools enjoy fun day at Pier attraction

Krista Cartlidge, Executive Director, MYTime Young Carers (centre) with volunteers and some of the children at the special activity day at RockReef.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

A top Bournemouth attraction hosted an activity day for young carers in Dorset.

MYTime Young Carers organised the event at RockReef climbing activity attraction on Bournemouth Pier.

It marked Young Carers Awareness Day, highlighting the challenges faced by young carers and providing an opportunity to offer them the support, friendship and opportunities they deserve.

Krista Cartlidge, Executive Director at MYTime Young Carers, said: “We are delighted to have had so much interest in this event with eight local schools bringing over 100 young carers to enjoy a day of fun activities at RockReef.

“It’s been a wonderful day, watching the young carers having so much fun and getting the chance to have a break from their caring responsibilities was really special.

“There are some extremely concerning statistics regarding the number of young carers registered in the UK.

“The 2011 census indicated that there are 166,000 young carers aged five to 17 in the UK.

“However, research carried out by Nottingham University and the BBC estimate the actual number of young carers to be closer to 800,000.

“They highlight that up to one in 12 children have caring responsibilities.

“MYTime Young Carers are working hard to help identify and support these ‘invisible’ young carers.

“Being a young carer can have a significant impact on their education.

“On average, a young carer misses 48 school days a year because of their caring responsibility or because of their own poor health as a result of worry or tiredness.

“This accounts for nearly 25 per cent of their education; which can lead to lower GCSE results, feeling isolated from their friends and less chance to be involved in extra-curricular activities.

“Today’s activity day has been financially supported by telecoms company 4Com, which recently carried out a virtual cycling challenge from Paris to Bournemouth and beyond, raising much needed funds for our charity.

“We have been thrilled to involve some of the 4Com staff as volunteers today, in order that they can fully appreciate how their sterling fundraising efforts have impacted the charity.

“We’ve also been delighted to have the support of Saffery Champness Chartered Accountants who generously sponsored some MYTime t-shirts, worn by the volunteers supporting the young carers.”

An eleven year old carer who attended the event said, “Being a young carer sometimes makes me feel frustrated because everything is on me. It makes me quick to get angry. I think that’s why days like today help me to relax.”

Steve Ross, a school-based social worker at the Grange School , said: “Today has allowed the children to understand that they are not on their own as carers.

“They’ve got to see who else in the school is in a similar situation and know that they can have someone to lean on. So much fun has been enjoyed today.”

Sarah Hunter, Marketing Manager at RockReef, said: “It’s been a real pleasure to host MYTime and the young carers today and we are delighted that it has been such a success.”

Anyone wishing to find out more about MYTime Young Carers’ Charity can contact Krista and her team at