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Smiling faces and pride displayed at event for young carers

PUBLISHED: 09:47 31 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:23 06 February 2019

Nearly 100 young carers from Lowestoft get active during Young Carers Awareness Day at Water Lane Sports Centre in Lowestoft. Pictures: Suffolk Family Carers

Nearly 100 young carers from Lowestoft get active during Young Carers Awareness Day at Water Lane Sports Centre in Lowestoft. Pictures: Suffolk Family Carers

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A day that made a difference "to so many".

Nearly 100 young carers from Lowestoft get active during Young Carers Awareness Day at Water Lane Sports Centre in Lowestoft. Pictures: Suffolk Family CarersNearly 100 young carers from Lowestoft get active during Young Carers Awareness Day at Water Lane Sports Centre in Lowestoft. Pictures: Suffolk Family Carers

That was the reaction from organisers of a special event this week as a collaborative team of professionals brought 100 Young Carers from across the Lowestoft area together to enjoy a fun filled day of wellbeing and sporting activities.

The youngsters aged between four and 15, from nine schools across the Lowestoft area, united at the Waterlane sports centre for the Suffolk Young Carers event on Tuesday, January 29.

Nearly 100 young carers from Lowestoft get active during Young Carers Awareness Day at Water Lane Sports Centre in Lowestoft. Pictures: Suffolk Family Carers Nearly 100 young carers from Lowestoft get active during Young Carers Awareness Day at Water Lane Sports Centre in Lowestoft. Pictures: Suffolk Family Carers

The event saw a range of activities held for all the young carers including yoga, climbing, dodgeball, badminton/short tennis, spinning, fun fitness and a mental health workshop.

With Suffolk County councillor Steve Ardley generously donating money from his locality budget, the support and sponsorship of Sentinel Leisure Trust was also praised.

Nearly 100 young carers from Lowestoft get active during Young Carers Awareness Day at Water Lane Sports Centre in Lowestoft. Pictures: Suffolk Family Carers Nearly 100 young carers from Lowestoft get active during Young Carers Awareness Day at Water Lane Sports Centre in Lowestoft. Pictures: Suffolk Family Carers

Welcoming everyone to the event, Mr Ardley said: “Our aim is to bring together 100 young carers so that you can meet like minded people, have fun, try new sports, learn to recognise and manage your wellbeing and find out about different support services that are available for you and your family.”

The event was organised by Terri Freeman, from Northfield St Nicholas Primary Academy in Lowestoft in conjunction with Katherine Meadows and the Suffolk Family Carers team.

The charity supports family carers throughout Suffolk, as a being a young carer is a risk factor for the mental health of children and young people. With the day aimed at giving these children the chance to have fun and take part in activities to build their self-esteem, Mrs Freeman said: “I am proud to have been part of a day that makes a difference to so many, as not only do I have a huge professional commitment to young carers but I also shared a personal connection with you and I really admire your dedication and empathy.”

Sports leaders from Lowestoft College and Ormiston Denes Academy encouraged the young carers to participate in all the activities.

Mia, aged 12, who cares for her mum with MS and arthritis, said after abseiling from the climbing wall: “I’m so proud of myself. I was really scared of having a go as I have never done anything like this before but I did it and it was really fun.”

Katie Meadows, from Suffolk Family Carers, drew the day to a close by presenting every young carer with a certificate of participation.

She said: “It is wonderful to see so many smiling faces. I thank you all for taking part, getting to know each other and sharing new experiences together.”

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