Team effort gives carers football fun

The youngsters were provided with a number of activities over two weeks of their school holiday.
The youngsters were provided with a number of activities over two weeks of their school holiday.

A collaboration between a leading children’s charity and the Celtic FC Foundation recently gave a group of local young carers two weeks of football-based activities.

The youngsters, from across North Lanarkshire and supported by Action for Children’s Young Carers project, took part in a series of sessions over two weeks which involved team-building sessions, football drills, a freestyle workshop and a tournament at the end before a celebration event.

Based in Motherwell, the charity’s project provides care and support to family members who may have a range of needs. Action for Children Scotland aims to help young carers by safeguarding health and well-being, supporting them with education, training and employment and increasing their access to leisure, cultural and social opportunities.

Paul Carberry, director for Scotland, said: “Collaborative approaches like this are key to providing opportunities for young people, focusing not only on fun but also on their physical well-being. We are also very pleased that this is not a one-off, with a key focus being to bring the young carers back in the October holidays for follow-up activity.”

Earlier in the summer, Action for Children research with the Carers Trust revealed that 72 per cent of young carers across the UK feel lonely during the summer holidays. The survey of 246 carers, featured the views of 50 from North Lanarkshire (20 per cent), with the research showing almost half (47 per cent) spent more than four hours a day during the summer caring for a relative – the equivalent of losing an entire week of their holidays.

Mr Carberry added: “For young carers, life can often be tough so it’s crucial that we offer them support in a fun and friendly environment, as well as the chance to have a break and simply enjoy being young. We are very grateful to Celtic FC Foundation for working with us to deliver this programme and provide young carers with such a memorable experience.”

Tony Hamilton, Chief Executive of Celtic FC Foundation, said: “We were really pleased to be able to lay on a series of fun activities for the young carers supported by Action for Children. We recognise that summer can be difficult for young carers as they don’t get the same holidays as their friends do. However, by working with Action for Children, we were able to deliver a series of activities aimed at providing them with fun and the chance to make new friends.”

Action for Children Scotland works closely with schools across the whole of North Lanarkshire to raise awareness of the issues and worries young carers face on a daily basis and positively identify young carers who may need support.

Further infromation is available at http://bit.ly/AFCNLYC