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Event shows how young carers cope with life

ON STAGE ... members of South Tyneside Young Carers Association.

ON STAGE ... members of South Tyneside Young Carers Association.

YOUNg people in South Tyneside are taking to the stage to show what life is like as a young carer.

Opening Doors – and the play of the same name – aims to highlight the heartache and isolation often faced by those caring for sick or disabled family members.

The event, taking place at the Customs House, South Shields, on Monday, will also promote the services offered by South Tyneside Carers Association, and hear from people who use the services as to why it is so important to them.

The show will be attended by the Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Ernest Gibson, with a range of exhibition stands displaying arts and crafts created by young carers, ahead of the main event.

Nicola Mantalios-Lovett, young carers activity co-ordinator, said: “Hopefully this event will help to promote what young carers do, and that we are here to support young people who are looking after family members.

“The young people have worked really hard, creating the script, and interviewing families using the service.

“A lot of them have overcome issues with nerves to get up on stage and perform.

“We are all really looking forward to the event.”

Opening Doors has been made possible with a £1,500 grant from the Carers Trust and will see four young care, Andrew Connelly, 14, Izaak Larsen, 14, Hannah Gray, 14, and Jayne Plummer, 15, hosting the event.

The drama, written by the youngsters, has been created with the help of drama teacher Mel Howd.

Izaak, who cares for his father, has been accessing the services of the young carers for the last two years.

He said: “Before coming to young carers, I thought I was the only person.

“But then you come here and you realise there are other people in a similar position as you.

“It’s more of a break than anything.”

Andrew, who cares for his mother and father, and has been part of young carers for nine years, said: “The young carers have helped me so much. They give you different opportunities and if you have any issues, they will also give you support and help.”

There are a limited number of free tickets available for the event, which starts at 5pm.

To book a place, call Nicola from 9am an Monday, on 454 3346.

Twitter: @ShieldsGazlisa

 

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