Shoppers helping to grant wishes of young carers

St Helens Star: Rachel Cathcart, front, with Sally Pitcher, Megan Johnson, Courtney Cathcart, Lorraine Pennington and Steven Brogan Rachel Cathcart, front, with Sally Pitcher, Megan Johnson, Courtney Cathcart, Lorraine Pennington and Steven Brogan

GENEROUS shoppers filled a town centre wishing well to boost a group that supports unsung heroes.

More than £500 collected in Church Square Shopping Centre was donated to grateful St Helens Young Carers Centre which provides moral and practical support for six to 18-year-olds who often act as carers.

Ideas being considered on how to spend the cash include renovating the Cotham Street Centre.

“The walls are a little bare – ideas include getting street artists to do graffiti art on the walls or a piece of canvas artwork,” said committee member Rachel Cathcart.

The centre team hopes to organise events for the young carers as respite from their extra family duties.

“At the centre we do all sorts of activities, from painting to cookery and first aid training. It’s good to meet others who are going through the same as you,” said Rachel, aged 17, from Parr.

Cowley Sixth Form student Rachel plans to go to university and hopes to teach history. She and her 14-year-old sister Courtney help their mum Juliet, 45, look after their stepdad Jon Cathcart, a former security guard, who suffers from anxiety and depression.

Young Carers centre manager Lorraine Pennington said: “Our philosophy is that promoting health and wellbeing by providing support enables them to cope better with their caring role. No young carer should reach crisis point before they get support.

“The centre is a place where they can meet others in the same situation.

“This donation will be put to very good use. People have been very generous and we all appreciate it.”

Shopping centre manager Steven Brogan said: “I am delighted to pass the money on help make wishes come true.”

More details about the St Helens Young Carers service on 01744 677279.

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