A charity which supports young carers across Sandwell is receiving funding from a local building society to safeguard one of its key services.
Sandwell Young Carers will use the money provided by the West Brom to run a residential breaks programme for carers aged between five and 18 over the next three years.
Funds totalling up to £47,000 will enable the charity to provide six trips per year for children and young people whose lives have been affected as a result of caring for a dependent family member.
Tracey Smith, Chief Executive of Sandwell Young Carers, said: “We are extremely grateful for the support we have received from the West Brom as it is entirely changing the way we can approach residential breaks.
“Previously we have only been able to attend breaks when the money has been available and we have had to arrange them at very short notice. Having this funding in place gives us a very strong structure to the breaks programme, meaning we can plan ahead, benefit from discounts and ensure the right children are attending the right breaks rather than operate on a first-come-first-served basis.
“The residential breaks mean such a lot to the children and young people we assist. They offer relief from the constant responsibilities and pressures of caring, plus allow them to mix with people their own age who are facing similar challenges in life.”
Around 60 children have already benefited from trips funded by the West Brom, attending events at Edgmond Hall in Newport, Shropshire, and The Frank Chapman Centre in Bewdley.
A group also participated in the Young Carers Festival, a flagship national event at Fairthorne Manor in Southampton which sees 1,500 youngsters camping and enjoying outdoor pursuits, workshops and group activities.
The residential breaks funding continues the strong relationship between Sandwell Young Carers, a registered charity established in 1994, and the West Brom. Staff participating in the building society’s Evolve leadership skills programme helped the charity enhance its marketing material for prospective corporate donors.
Some colleagues continue to volunteer their time – Stef Bailey is providing monthly business coaching sessions, while Hardeep Nagra is assisting with financial planning and budgeting and will soon become treasurer.
Jonathan Westhoff, Chief Executive for the West Brom, said: “We are very proud to be supporting Sandwell Young Carers in a number of different ways. These are remarkable youngsters assuming huge responsibilities for their age and it’s important they can enjoy a release from their daily pressures through these regular breaks we are funding.”