KIND-HEARTED people who could help brighten the lives of young carers in the area are being called upon to volunteer their time.
There are scores of young carers in the county who take on responsibilities at home because someone in their family has a disability, has been ill for a long time, experiences mental ill health, or has a problem linked to drugs or alcohol.
West Sussex County Council is now appealing for volunteers to transport the youngster to youth groups during term time.
Peter Evans, the county council’s cabinet member for children said: “Many children and young people rely on mum or dad to get around, but for young carers this often isn’t an option and they end up missing out on the important social interaction they need
“Thanks to our transport volunteers, young carers can take a break from the responsibilities they have at home, even if it’s just for a couple of hours, which can make a huge difference to their overall well-being.”
Julie Baldwin is one of those volunteers, donating around three hours of her time every Monday evening. “I started in February this year and it’s quickly become an enjoyable part of my weekly routine,” explains Julie.
“I heard an advert on local radio appealing for volunteers and it sounded like something I could do. I’m so glad I got in touch; it’s really satisfying to know that I’m helping and being thanked at the end of a journey really does feel lovely.
“The young people I transport live in quite an isolated area and there is no way they could get to the youth club without private transport. When they get in the car they often want to talk and talk - about anything and everything - so they clearly need an outlet. And I’m happy to listen.”
Volunteers must have a full driving licence and their own fully-insured car.
A criminal records check will also be required as will two references.
Full training plus travel expenses will be given.
For more details about the volunteer scheme call 01903 270300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The closing date for applications is Monday, June 30.