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Picnic treat gives Brighton and Hove's young carers a break
Children and teenagers who dedicate their lives to looking after others took part in a special picnic to give them a much-needed break.
The Young Carers Project, part of the Carers Centre for Brighton and Hove, invited families to the event at Hove Lawns.
The charity says there are at least 2,000 young carers in the city but the actual number is much higher because not all of them are using the services available.
Those at the picnic included Alison Kalick, from Brighton, and her children Harvi, seven, and Taylor, 10.
Ms Kalick has rheumatoid arthritis and has allergies which can cause severe reactions. She said: “The children have had to be in A&E with me and have also used an epipen when I’ve fallen ill.
“They are a temendous support to me. I often say the family is a ship and we are all working together to stay afloat.
“The young carers project is great because it gives them a chance to be with other children who know what they are experiencing.”
Wendy Waite, 47, from Whitehawk, Brighton, suffers complications caused by a stroke and also has arthritis.
She relies on the help and support of her children Bethany, 12, and Georgia, eight.
She said: “They help with wash- ing up, washing the clothes and doing the hoovering and at times really do take care of me.
“At times I worry they are not having a chance to just be children and could end up being isolated.
“This is why I am so pleased they are able to meet up with the other young carers and enjoy different activities.”
Young Carers senior support worker Kevin Hutchins said: “We offer a wider range of support, including one-to-one case work, but there are also plenty of group activities and sessions.
“Our aims are to give them a break from caring and try to reduce the impact caring has on their lives.
“They can face difficulties but they are still very positive and feel proud to be able to help family members.
“They are a really resilient bunch and they understand each other.”
To learn more about the project, visit www.thecarerscentre. org or call 01273 746222.
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