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Young carers get much-needed break with inspiring visit to Arundel Wetland Centre

Young carers have been thanked for their tireless work looking after loved ones with a free visit to the stunning Arundel Wetland Centre.

A group of nine young people from West Sussex Young Carers Family Service visited the centre, which is one of WWT’s 10 wetland sites across the UK. The visit was made possible through WWT’s partnership with the National Garden Scheme.

Alongside getting a tour of the centre, the young people went on a boat safari and had the chance to ask questions about all the wildlife they saw along the way. The group were delighted by the visit and said seeing the pelicans and getting a boat ride were particular highlights.

Their visit on Saturday 24th February was part of national charity Carers Trust’s partnership with the National Garden Scheme, which allows carers of all ages to take a break from the pressures of their day-to-day responsibilities.

Nicola Foord, Family Support Key Worker at West Sussex Young Carers Family Service, said:

“We had a fantastic day supporting nine of our young carers at the Arundel Wetlands Centre. The children loved spending time getting to know each other in the beautiful surroundings. Time was spent on a boat safari and despite a little rain they thoroughly enjoyed the boat ride and spotting the ducks and geese.

“The sun then appeared in time for our walk around the wetlands and the children loved the willow structures and suddenly became photographers, snapping pictures of each other the birds and the artwork. There were lots of giggles and laughs to be had watching the diving ducks and finally the stunning pelicans. It was a great day and the Wetlands staff and volunteers were extremely welcoming and attentive.”

The National Garden Scheme has been supporting Carers Trust for more than 25 years, and in that time the charity has received more than £5.5 million to help support unpaid carers. Carers Trust has also been able to take groups of unpaid carers to visit gardens which are open with the National Garden Scheme, allowing them a rare chance to relax. Donations to the National Garden Scheme are also used for grants that help unpaid carers buy otherwise unaffordable items like fridges, washing machines and breaks.

WWT Arundel’s Centre Manager, Claire Hogben, said:

“We were so excited to welcome this group of young carers from West Sussex Young Carers Family Service to WWT Arundel and show them what our site has to offer, thanks to our partnership with the National Garden Scheme. Just a short time spent in wetland nature can boost your mood, so we were delighted to host a full day of fun activities and provide the carers with a well-earned break. We hope we inspired a connection between these wonderful carers and nature, and that they enjoyed their wetland adventure.”

There are more than one million young carers in the UK who look after ill or disabled loved ones. Many are reliant on local carer organisations for support. At least 50,000 children and young people, including 3,000 aged just five to nine, spend 50 hours or more a week looking after ill or disabled family members.

National Garden Scheme Chief Executive, George Plumptre, added:

“Bringing together our partners WWT with Carers Trust and young carers from West Sussex, one of our beneficiary charities, for a wonderful, educational visit to the Arundel Wetland Centre is a great example of how working together with the shared goal of improving health and wellbeing – for people and planet – can have really positive impacts. We’d like to acknowledge the huge generosity shown by WWT for hosting the visit and for helping to raise awareness of the importance of wetlands while providing young carers with the opportunity of having time away from their daily responsibilities in such an inspirational space.”

Carers Trust’s Senior Corporate Fundraising Executive, Zoe Cutten, said:

“We’re delighted so many young carers were able to visit the Arundel Wetland Centre and get a chance to unwind. Young carers tell us all the time that what they really need is a break from their caring responsibilities. Many are spending their time after school and on weekends looking after loved ones, from ensuring medication is taken to cooking meals. Carers Trust’s partnership with the National Garden Scheme makes it possible for them to get some time away from these all too adult responsibilities.”

 

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