Providing a better life for young carers in Blackpool.
Getting a taste for the great outdoors is tricky if you don’t have the right kit. Keeping protected, warm and dry in proper clothing gives young carers the best chance of a positive first experience.
If you are a young carer in Blackpool, the chances of you getting out into the nearby hills and forests are slim. The irony of this is that if you’re carrying a burden far beyond your years, the need for fresh air, exercise and friendship is great. Rohan customers almost certainly know the power of wild and beautiful places, so Gift Your Gear together with Blackpool Carers Centre have teamed up to make things happen. Of course, all the hard work is done by the centre. They run a Duke of Edinburgh programme, teach navigation, run respite youth clubs and residential training, while Gift Your Gear has been able to provide the kit that enables young people to get and stay relatively comfortable in all weathers. As Andy Gunn, the lead of the Time Out team explains,
“We’re all about respite breaks for the people that need them – for many it’s a rare chance to be a young person again. These young people don’t see themselves as carers and many simply accept their role as the way things are; to them they are just looking after their mum, dad, sister or brother. Meanwhile, of course, their childhood may be slipping by.”
Caring can have an isolating effect on individuals, and the programmes that Blackpool Carers run are designed to tackle this. Carers are constantly dealing with a loved one’s illness, mental ill health, disability and substance misuse. This, of course, is mostly unpaid, with levels of responsibility way beyond their years. Some of these carers may be as young as five years old! Walking and talking, learning new skills and one-to-one meet-ups all give critical support to those that most need it. And getting quality outdoor kit from Gift Your Gear makes more things possible. Andy enthuses about the scheme, “It’s brilliant, it really is. We couldn’t possibly buy kit for everyone who wants to get out and about through our schemes – it’s become an important part of making things happen.”