Hart & Rushmoor Young Carers Group offer emotional/social/peer support, practical help and respite care to anyone aged 7-25 years living in Hart and Rushmoor who cares, unpaid, for a family member with an illness or disability, mental health condition or addiction. Family support is also available, where appropriate.
The team, led by qualified youth workers employed by Hart Voluntary Action, currently run young carers clubs at the Mayfield Community Centre in Farnborough on the following evenings during term time:
• Monday from 6.30-8.30pm for School Year 7 one week and School Years 8-10 the alternate week (i.e. 11-15 years) – Senior Group,
• Tuesday from 5.30-7.30pm for School Years 3-5 one week and School Year 6 the alternate week (i.e. 7-11 years) – Junior Group,
• Every other Thursday from 6.30-8.30pm for young adult carers in School Years 11 and above (i.e. 15-25 years) - Young Adult Carers Group.
The main focus of the clubs is on the young carers having fun, meeting other young people who are in a similar situation and receiving respite from their caring responsibilities. An additional aim is to give the young carers as many enjoyable, educational and challenging activities as possible to help improve their confidence, develop new skills and cope with issues that affect their lives.
We run a varied programme of activities throughout the term, which is based on feedback from the young carers on what they would like to do. Each week there is a main activity, for example, cupcake challenge, tie dyeing t-shirts, quiz night etc. We also hold parties at Easter, Halloween and Christmas and have a Summer BBQ.
The Young Adult Carers Group is run slightly differently from the Junior and Senior Clubs. Their sessions include a workshop/talk, as well as time for the young adult carers to relax, chat with each other, or talk to one of the leaders. Our aim is to help them get advice and information about education, careers, benefits, work, money/debt, housing, relationships and health, so they can make plans for their future and have the same opportunities as other young people. 1:1 support is also available with a leader to talk confidentially about issues relating to caring as well as any other concerns the young adult carer may have. We also have a young leader programme which gives the young adult carers a chance to get involved in the mentoring of other young carers and play a part in running activities at our Junior and Senior Young Carers Clubs.
Transport is available and attendance is free at all our young carers clubs, and there is no charge for any of the activities or refreshments provided. There is also a tuck shop which sells a variety of chocolate bars and sweets.
We also provide additional opportunities for members to attend day trips and weekend residentials, and respite activities during the school holidays.