Thursday, 17th January 2019

South Tyneside College students put their best foot forward to give young carers a Christmas treat.

Students in healthcare and early learning, showed the festive spirit by collecting toys, clothes, toiletries, games, sweets and chocolates that filled over 30 shoe boxes. They were handed over to the Young Carers South Tyneside Project who distributed them to youngsters.

Laura Tillbrook, performance and progression coach, who is the link between Young Carers South Tyneside and the college, suggested to the students they may wish to support the charity with Christmas presents.

Laura, said: “The students are a really kind and compassionate group of young people and they set about their task with real enthusiasm and before we knew it they had collected enough items to fill over 30 boxes. It is such a great thing to do around the Christmas period and we are sure they brought a smile of delight to the faces of the lucky young carers who received them.”

There are 1183 young carers registered with South Tyneside Young Carers Project, of which 393 are active within the service.  Once referred, all young carers and their families receive an assessment to determine their needs and a plan is instigated, with regular review. Project staff provide support, emotional and practical help and advice to young carers and their families who are having long or short term difficulties. Staff also deliver one-to-one support and small group work when required.

The service provides regular respite in the way of a comprehensive activity programme conducted throughout school term time and in all school holidays. This includes residential breaks to give the young carers a well-earned rest, which for many will be the only time they have experienced a short holiday.

Levi Cosker, young carers, activity officer, said: “This was a fantastic effort by the students and we would like to thank them and all who donated for their generosity and kindness. We get a great deal of support from the community throughout the year, but this was something very special given that children love to receive gifts at Christmas.”

Picture caption: Levi Cosker (centre) of South Tyneside Young Carers Project with students (left - right) Syeda Akhtar, Courtney Mills, Shauna Harkus, Shannon Hutton, Erin Burgess.