YC2 closure would be ‘devastating’

From left, YC2 co-ordinatorMargo Parfitt, young carers Reuben Das, Chad Newton and Tyler Bennett, with mum Kirsty Das at the back

From left, YC2 co-ordinatorMargo Parfitt, young carers Reuben Das, Chad Newton and Tyler Bennett, with mum Kirsty Das at the back

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A mum has told the Advertiser the loss of a support group for young carers would have a “devastating” effect on her whole family.

Buckingham resident Sheryl Bennett’s two sons have attended the Buckingham & Winslow Young Carers group(YC2) for the past six years. The boys have caring responsibilties for their mother, due to a mental health condition.

Mrs Bennett said: “YC2 is such an important part of my children’s lives.

“YC2 gives them time away from their responsibilties. It is a safe environment for them to just be themselves.

“The volunteers put the children first and my children trust them completely. They can relax and have fun.

“It has helped my younger son make sense of the world he is in and given him support with his feelings.

“My elder child has been given many opportunities to develop life skills, help with CVs and one-to-one counselling.My children know they are the same as any other child at YC2 and that makes them feel accepted as part of a group. They know they can talk in confidence to any of the YC2 volunteers and they will be listened to and fully supported.

“If the funding is stopped, it will have a very negative impact on their lives. They will feel completely unsupported and this will have a devastating effect on them and us as a family.

“Without YC2’s support, they will have their self-confidence knocked. their self-esteem will be lowered and this will have a very negative impact on their lives and their wellbeing.”

Bucks County Council (BCC) is planning to withdraw its £7,500 annual funding from YC2 – the only group that supports young carers in the north of the county.

BCC leader Martin Tett has said in future support for young carers could be delivered by Carers Bucks, which is commissioned to support carers. But CEO of Carers Bucks, Stephen Archibald, said the cut would impact on support county-wide.

If Carers Bucks was expected to take up the reins, he said: “As a commissioned service, we would obviously do this to the best of our ability but we are already running at capacity so the consequence would be a reduced service in Buckingham and some of the work we are currently delivering elsewhere would need to be cut.”