Help support young carers

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A CHARITY for kind-hearted kids who selflessly care for loved ones is holding a series of fundraisers because money is getting harder to come by.

Hartlepool Young Carers supports children who look after someone in their family who has an illness, a disability, a mental health problem or a substance misuse problem.

The youngsters often have to take on the responsibilities of an adult, so the charity organises trips out and events for the seven to 19-year-olds so they can let their hair down.

But organisers say the funding for such activities is more and more difficult to find and they are now having to plan a series of fun fundraisers to raise cash.

Steve Plant, family support worker with the charity, said: “The current economic climate and government cuts mean we are finding it incredibly difficult to do activities.

“We asked the children to come up with ideas for fundraisers and they have grabbed the bull by the horns.”

There are more than 70 young carers in the town. But a core group of around 14 are taking part in the fundraising activities.

Two take place on October 25, with Hartlepool United FC mascot H’Angus the monkey playing a key role.

He will be a goalkeeper in a penalty competition at Rossmere Youth Centre, in Rossmere Way, from 1pm-3pm before the children take part in a spooky sleepover.

They will be sponsored to spend the night in the supposedly haunted cellar of the Cosmopolitan Hotel, in Durham Street, on the Headland. The group will also wear fancy dress during the eye-opening experience.

And the children are also practising for a flash dance that will take place a day before on October 24 at a so far unknown location in the town centre.

It will see the group break into the ghoulish dance from Michael Jackson’s Thriller song shortly after noon.

Mr Plant is hoping they get a warm response from the public throughout their fundraising efforts.

He added: “These children don’t get any benefits or remuneration for what they do. Across the country, they save the Government around £83m a year.

“We support them as they don’t get much time to integrate with their peers so can have low self-esteem. Some don’t even realise the work that they do.

“By organising these trips and activities, we build their confidence. They all mature quite quickly so we give them the opportunity to be kids.”

Those wanting to support the young carers can call into Hartlepool Carers, at 19a Lowthian Road, where donation envelopes are available.