Guildford celebrates young carers at Guildford Spectrum event

Young carers play a vital and underappreciated role in our borough, with estimates suggesting as many as 8% of children aged 5 to 18 locally act as carers for a family member. To offer young carers and their families a chance to take a break and spend some time having fun with their loved ones, we invited local young carers and their families to a recent event at Guildford Spectrum. They enjoyed playing Minecraft, bowling, archery, ice skating and swimming. The Surrey Scorchers Foundation also lent their support with a chance to shoot some hoops with Surrey's leading basketball team.

The event was made possible with the support of Sport Guildford, the Matrix Trust, Artventure, Royal Surrey County Hospital,  Shere, West Horsley, East Horsley, Tongham, St Martha and Worplesdon Parish Councils and Kids Out. Our Playrangers were also on hand on the day to help deliver the activities.

The event was a welcome break from daily caring responsibilities for the young carers. The effect on these children is huge. Some fail to realise their academic potential, and they often suffer mental health issues, bullying and social media abuse.

The Guildford Young Carers Fund was set up by Mike Parsons during his year as mayor in 2018/19 and is part of Guildford Philanthropy. The fund awards grants to support young carers in the borough of Guildford. Grants support young carers by providing services or equipment that will help them with their educational, emotional and social needs .

Grants are available for things such as:
- additional non-statutory support in school or college
- extra tuition or educational support outside school or college
- IT or other equipment to support educational needs
- school trips, outings or residential activities
- music, sports or play activities or other clubs outside school (including membership fees).