Chris Grayling, Conservative candidate for Epsom & Ewell is delighted to announce My Time for Young Carers as his chosen Charity for 2015. My Time supports young people who care for either a parent or a sibling within the family. Chris met members at the Ewell Club which meets monthly and joined in the Easter activities.
“I am delighted to announce that My Time for Young Carers as my chosen charity for 2015, they are a small fledgling charity in the local area and provide invaluable support and relief to young individuals who look after other members of their family. The responsibilities shouldered by the carers are often huge and it’s important that they can have some time to themselves and can enjoy spending time participating in fun activities with friends.” Chris Grayling.
My Time for Young Carers is a group that provides fun activities and support to youngsters who have a caring responsibility in their family. It began when funding was stopped for Mid-Surrey Young Carers (MSYC), a group that met at Ewell URC. The church, with Epsom Soroptimists and ex-MSYC volunteers, decided that this work was too vital to let it be stopped, so they started a new group to continue the work. The charity’s 3rd birthday is looming. In those three years membership has jumped from 12 to 70+, the one session per month is now six and the new My Time+ sessions provide activities for young carers of secondary school age.
Young carers are children and young people who provide care, assistance and support to another family member. Often, young people carry out substantial or significant caring tasks on a regular basis and assume a level of responsibility usually associated with an adult. The person receiving the care is often a parent, but can be a brother of sister, grandparent of other relative who is disabled or suffering from physical or mental health.
There are many family situations that can have a negative impact on the lives of young people. The ethos of My Time is that any child becomes a carer when they are put into a situation in which they feel the need to protect or support another family member.
Clubs for 8 to 12 year olds in Ewell and Dorking meet fortnightly and run for an hour and a half. The monthly My Time+ groups for 11 to 15 year olds are in Fetcham and Stoneleigh. Everything is free - activities, outings, transport and food. Sessions usually centre around a specific activity each week, alongside general games like pool, table tennis, other sports and crafts. At the Ewell group in the summer, the youngsters go out to the local rec. to let off steam and enjoy some ‘organised’ games.
My Time has proved to be a real community project. The large team of volunteers help with activities, provide transport to and from club sessions and outings, and run the snack bar. They support our professional youth workers who oversee the club sessions and together they produce the club programme. Evenings start at 5.30 and finish at 7.00 for the younger groups and for MT+ it is 7.00 to 8.30 p.m.
The charity has been lucky to attract financial support from various local groups and individuals. Without this support and the commitment from the volunteers, My Time would not exist. Young Carers are often bullied at school. They sometimes fall behind with their education and find it difficult to sustain friendships because of life at home. Parents too feel guilty that they can’t provide outings and treats. My Time exists to bring few treats and fun into the lives of just a few of the 14,000 Young Carers in Surrey, but who knows with continuing community support, how many more members and more clubs My Time will have in three years time?
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