Wigan & Leigh Young Carers have received £27,578 in funding from People’s Health Trust with money raised by the Health Lottery North West for a two-year project, aimed at supporting young adult carers based in the borough of Wigan.
Through this project, Wigan & Leigh Young Carers are dedicated to supporting young carers and young adult carers aged between 14-24 years old, particularly those who are most isolated and have limited social, educational and employment opportunities. According to a survey by the Carers Trust, 59% of young adult carers say their mental health is worse as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The two-year project is aimed at providing respite peer support groups and residential breaks promoting friendships and encouraging members to achieve their full potential through engagement and training.
The project offers over a 100 young adult carers holistic wellbeing support and training opportunities for the basic skills they need to apply in real-life. The sessions include work training programs, which include CV writing tips, life skills and improving self-esteem. These programs are designed alongside local schools, colleges and universities to ensure the young carers are given the best advice they need to succeed, as the survey results also show that 78% of young adult carers are more worried about their future now as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Additionally, some of the other sessions include one-to-one support discussions, sessions for physical and emotional wellbeing nutritional advice and much more. Furthermore, the project also aims to build the young carers’ morale through fun activities as 69% of the young adult carers feel less connected since the pandemic. Activities include cooking lessons, quiz nights and outdoor walks – all aimed at alleviating their stress and giving the young adult carers the same life experiences and opportunities as other young adults that they might have missed on while caring for others.
One of the young adult carers enrolled in the project shares their experience with Wigan & Leigh Young Carers, saying “It’s really fun and the activities are very exciting. I feel very welcome. It is very open minded and always lacks judgement. Thanks for being here through all our dark and rough times.”.
Commenting on the funding from People’s Health Trust, Wigan & Leigh Young Carers Finance and Grants Admin, Paul Carroll said: “the funding has really helped us sustain and expand the project, we are now able to accommodate more young adult carers and provide them with all the support sessions they need. Additionally, the funding has helped us to deliver wellbeing packages during the pandemic which included wellbeing activities and items to make them smile to ensure we are in contact with our Young Carers on a regular basis during these unprecedented times”.
Martin Ellice, Joint Managing Director of the Health Lottery, said “We are delighted to support the Wigan & Leigh Young Carers team on their project. It is a great initiative for young adult carers to have the support of such a dedicated program and receive the support they need while supporting others”.