The people of Leeds have rallied to answer a call for cash to help the city’s army of young carers.
In the space of just two months, donations to Leeds Community Foundation’s (LCF) campaign, to pay for young carers to have a break away, has raised £6,000 - smashing the original target of £4,000.
Leeds has an estimated 4,000 young carers and the campaign aimed to allow 200 of them the chance to have a break from their responsibilities and enjoy day trips or weekends away with other carers. Thanks to the generosity of local residents and businesses - including a single, anonymous donor who pledged £4k - more young carers than originally planned can now benefit from the campaign.
For the campaign’s launch, back in September, the YEP ran a moving interview with Scarlett*, a 13-year-old from Leeds who looks after her three siblings and manages daily housework around school, while caring for her mum who has bipolar disorder. She said at the time: “I always get the same feeling when school finishes - that I don’t want to go home, but I have to. I’m very aware my life is quite a lot different from my friends.”
Sally-Anne Greenfield, LCF chief executive, said the money will go to community projects which work with young carers.
She said: “Everyone should be entitled to a childhood. Caring for a family member means that young carers often miss out on experiences enjoyed by their friends such as learning to ride a bike, days out to the seaside or cinema trips. We’re extremely grateful to everyone who donated and can’t wait to see young carers enjoy a well-deserved break.”
The community groups who will receive the funding will be revealed in December, when they will share stories on how they are working with young carers in Leeds.
Online donations for the campaign are now closed but people can continue to give by sending cheques donations made payable to ‘Leeds Community Foundation’ to LCF Cares, Leeds Community Foundation, 51a St Pauls Street, Leeds, LS1 2ET.
*Names have been changed.