Friday, 27 November 2015

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£5,000 boost for campaign to help Cumbria's young carers

The first big donation has come in for our Give Them A Break campaign – and it’s a whopper!

NMP care campaign photo
NMP staff, from left, Terry Inns, Jackie Coombes, Jean-Marc Dubieff, Chris Abbott and Gary McKeating

The News & Star and The Cumberland News have joined forces with Eden Carers, West Cumbria Carers and Carlisle Carers to raise £20,000 to help our county’s unsung heroes experience a taste of the childhood they might otherwise do without.

Children as young as four are helping to look after siblings and parents, often forgoing some of the “normal” activities undertaken by their peers.

The reaction from the public has already been encouraging but, one week since we launched, we are delighted to announce that Nuclear Management Partners (NMP) has donated £5,000 to the cause.

As well as the cash, the west Cumbrian organisation has also pledged to work with the News & Star and arrange to take some of the youngsters to Whitehaven and Workington rugby matches and to watch the Workington Comets in action at the speedway.

Gary McKeating, head of socio-economics at NMP, said: “In the course of my work I meet many individuals and groups that bind our communities together through the selfless work that they undertake.

“Young carers are the often invisible support for family members and I can only pay tribute to their dedication and mature outlook.

“However, as a society, we have to realise that they are just kids and should, wherever possible, be able to do things that other kids take for granted.

“Through this appeal, we will be able to provide some time away from their caring responsibilities and let them be a child again.

“We would urge everyone to get involved in the fundraising and look forward to meeting some of these young unsung heroes in the near future.”

Michelle Watson, young carers project team lead at West Cumbria Carers, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive this donation – the money will be put towards supporting children and giving them some well-earned respite from their caring role. Such a large donation is simply fabulous and we are blown over by the generosity of NMP.”

Dawn Kenyon, from Carlisle Carers, added: “People are so very generous, and we are so very grateful.”

Cilla Clarke, chief executive of Eden Carers, also welcomed the news, saying: “What a wonderful way to recognise our young carers: just think how many children that will give a wonderful childhood experience too.”

She added: “I hope this really sets the ball rolling with others.”

Anne Pickles, News & Star associate editor, said: “How wonderful! This magnificent donation – and expression of admiring appreciation of all young carers do – gets our campaign off to a marvellous start.”

  • The News & Star Give Them a Break campaign aims to raise about £20,000 to pay for respite breaks for children across north and west Cumbria.

All money raised will be spent on trips to the seaside, theme parks, sports and play events – treats most adults hold in their minds as treasured childhood memories. It is something that these children sadly get to experience far too rarely.

To donate go to


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