Students treat Devon's young carers to summer adventure holiday

Young carers from Exeter, East Devon and Teignbridge have been treated to a grand Summer Adventure thanks to student volunteers from the University of Exeter Students’ Guild volunteering group, Community Action.

Running from 4-15 August, 70 young carers aged between eight and 15 are enjoying a welcome break from the challenges and responsibilities of their daily lives and the chance to make friends with other youngsters.

Trained and DBS-checked student volunteers returned to Exeter during the summer vacation to work in partnership with charity Westbank to provide time and space for young carers to learn team work skills and relax with new friends.

With the injection of fresh funding from the True Colours Trust, National Lottery Awards for All and BBC Children in Need, Summer Adventures 2014 offered more young people than ever before the chance to enjoy activities ranging from crafts, adventure courses and sports days to beach trips and raft building.

Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw was the guest of honour at the first end-of-week celebrations last Friday (8 August) where he presented participants with awards for their achievements.

Ben said: “It was a pleasure to attend the Summer Adventures presentation ceremony and to speak to the children involved and their parents. The excitement and confidence these youngsters have developed during their camp is plain to see and I am pleased to support the Community Action student volunteers in their amazing work.”

Sarah Lindley, Lead Practitioner for Young Carers in Exeter and Teignbridge at Westbank, said: “Westbank Young Carers Scheme is delighted to continue our strong partnership with Community Action.

"Summer Adventures offers young carers opportunities that we are unable to provide alone and we hear so many of them returning from their week with the students already asking when they can go again.”

Student project leaders, Ronnie Henderson and Will Bowditch, are proud to lead a bigger and bolder Summer Adventures.

Will said: “Summer Adventures is a wonderful journey for both our student volunteers and the young carers referred to us from Westbank and it is inspiring to see these young people flourish during their time with us.”

Ronnie commented: “Since the 1960s, our student volunteers have been providing summer activities for local kids, while Summer Adventures has been providing respite for young carers since 2004. As students we have worked hard to grow the project each year and I hope it will continue to support the local community for years to come.”

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