A fin-tastic day for young Plymouth carers

Pictured, left to right, Lisa Cornish from the Council, Liz Cole from the Aquarium, and Kerry Sumareh from Tor Bridge Primary School.

To celebrate this year’s Young Carers Day on Thursday 25 January, the National Marine Aquarium was pleased to host a special visit for a group of young carers from Plymouth.

An annual event, Young Carers Day recognises the incredible contribution of 700,000 young people across the UK who provide valuable care and support and is promoted by the Carers Trust.

The National Marine Aquarium worked with Plymouth City Council’s Education, Participation and Skills team to offer subsidised tickets for the group of young carers to enjoy a special day out. Lisa Cornish, from the team at Plymouth City Council said: “It’s great to take the young carers out for the day – because of their caring responsibilities they often have to work really hard and miss out on some of the things that children and young people take for granted.

Lisa Cornish with a group of young carers at the top of the aquarium tank.

“The visit to the Aquarium is a good opportunity for young carers to get together and have some fun, and gives them some much needed respite. We are grateful to the National Marine Aquarium for enabling us to bring this group of young carers at a reduced rate.”

Josh McCarty, Head of Marketing at the National Marine Aquarium, commented: “We are delighted to support Young Carers Day, helping to raise awareness of the hugely important role young carers in our communities play and to thank them for their efforts. We hope the group enjoyed their visit to the Aquarium and benefited from its uniquely calming environment, which research has shown can positively impact on physical and mental wellbeing.”

As a special treat, the young carers were taken up to look down at the shark tank from the very top to get a view that is usually closed off to the public. One of the carers who attended was a ten year old boy, he said: “It’s my first ever time here – it’s the best place ever! The sharks are my favourite.”

Councillor Terri Beer, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, added: “Young carers are the unsung heroes of our local community and it is important that we celebrate Young Carers Day.

As part of their treat, the young carers were allowed to get a view of the aquarium that is usually closed to the public.

“Young carers can be any child or young person who looks after a relative who has an illness or disability, has a mental health condition, or misuses drugs or alcohol.

“Being a young carer can affect a young person’s health, social life and self-confidence. One in 20 young carers nationally miss school because of their caring role, and many young carers struggle to juggle education and caring. So it really is essential that young carers get the chance to have a break and network with other young carers to support each other.”

Kerry Sumareh, the Young Carers Lead at Tor Bridge Primary School, said: “At Tor Bridge Primary we are committed to ensuring that all pupils who are young carers are identified, and supported effectively in school, and we run a young carers support group providing fun activities. The event held at the Aquarium is a lovely opportunity to meet young carers across the city.”

Search #YoungCarersDay or visit www.carers.org/ycad for more information on young carers.