A DONATION of more than £7,000 has meant that young carers have been given activity boxes to support them through coronavirus lockdown.

St Helens Young Carers’ Centre supports 465 young carers across the borough who are aged between six and 18.

The youngsters look after parents and adults who are sick, disabled or have mental health problems.

The centre offers emotional and practical support to young carers which includes weekly respite activities.

But due to the COVID-19 situation they cannot provide the normal social activities and coming together that provides the respite the young people so desperately need.

The lockdown, especially for the children caring for those with drug and alcohol problems, has created a greater ‘care load’, stress and isolation.

But the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity has very kindly made a donation of £7,750 which has been used to to provide ‘activity boxes’ for the young carers, allowing them to get involved in remote respite activities, have some fun, share the fun online, and engage with others in the same situation. The first trial has gone really well, and the young carers really appreciate the distraction.

The centre needed to ensure their young carers did not feel isolated during lockdown. They said the grant was a great boost, providing remote activity boxes for young carers to complete over a five-week lockdown period.

In an innovative form of respite, the young carers completed their ‘stay at home activities as a competition then sent in videos showing the results which were then judged, and winners announced.

Jane Dearden, of the St Helens Young Carers’ Centre, said “The grant was a great success and gave us the opportunity to bring this project to its full potential” The Centre is now looking to capitalise on the project to further help young carers remotely in the future."