A NEW partnership to support young carers across Wiltshire has got off to a flying start, with a series of events being laid on for young people.

Carer Support Wiltshire works with Wiltshire Council and other organisations to identify and support children across the county, aged between five and 18, who find themselves in a caring role.

Together with organisations like Youth Action Wiltshire, and in conjunction with schools, colleges, community groups, CSW is able to provide young carers with breaks, activities and opportunities to learn new skills.

The events staged recently included an activity day at Brokerswood, near Trowbridge, a multi-sports day, a family day for young carers and their families and a group of ten, 12 to 15-year-olds even took part in a sailing residential on the Solent.

Niki Andrews, Youth Action Wiltshire service co-ordinator, said: "At any one time YAW is actively working with around 150 young people. In all, 80 took part in the recent events.

“One of the most important aspects of our work is bringing young carers together so they can meet others who are in the same position as they are,” she said. “They find it is such a relief to realise they are not alone, and they form strong friendships.”

Funding from the generosity of the Wiltshire community is vital to ensure Carer Support Wiltshire and its partners can provide these activities.

Catharine Hurford, CSW’s chief executive, said: “With the fantastic support of readers, understanding of caring and carers is rising rapidly in Wiltshire. Working with partners such as Youth Action Wiltshire, and really boosted by community support and fundraising, we are able to provide bespoke activities for young carers.

“But we want to do more and, with the help of our volunteers and community connectors, we are improving understanding of young carers and the barriers they face because we all want to help them achieve their dreams.”

CSW is currently running a £25,000 Community Connections Appeal, which is being backed by the Gazette & Herald and Wiltshire Times, to help stamp out feelings of loneliness and isolation by providing breaks for adult carers and putting them back in touch with their communities.

To find out more about the appeal and how to help, contact Carer Support Wiltshire’s fundraising team via email to lizzie@carersupportwiltshire.co.uk or by calling 01380 871690. Carer Support Wiltshire’s website has a dedicated Community Connections Appeal page: https://carersupportwiltshire.co.uk/i-want-to-help/