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Imago and Bowles organise fun day in Tunbridge Wells for young carers

By Oliver Kemp

Two charities have joined forces to offer young carers across the county a day away from their responsibilities.

Bowles, an outdoor education charity and Imago, a charity in Tunbridge Wells, organised two days of outdoor activities designed to give the children a chance to get away from their difficult home lives for the day.

Almost 80 children between the ages of five and 18 attended, getting to take part in activities like rock climbing, rope courses and bushcraft.

These activity days give young carers the chance to meet others with similar home lives

George Burrow, 12, from Rusthall, helps to look after his sister Sophie who has cerebral palsy.

His mum Jane said George takes on the adult role when she's not around, playing a big part in his sister's home care: "I rely on him to look after her if I have to go out for anything," she said.

"It's nice for him to do normal stuff and not have the pressure of looking after someone."

George helps to look after his sister who has cerebral palsy
George helps to look after his sister who has cerebral palsy

George said he enjoyed the day because it gave him some time away from helping care for his sister.

"I have to help her get dressed, help her in the shower and support her," he said.

"It's fun because I get a bit of a break from caring and stuff."

There were 78 young carers at the activity days
There were 78 young carers at the activity days

Richard Hardwick, director of Bowles, said the strength of young carers really shines through when it comes to working together during these activities.

"Young carers are so resilient, they are so caring, and they are so good at teamwork," he said. "They are such good team players, they naturally have so many other skills that a lot of other young people wouldn't necessarily get.

"It's one of the things we love about having them here - all we have to do is open the doors and they come and make the most of it."

The days are a chance for children with similar home lives to interact
The days are a chance for children with similar home lives to interact

There are more than 10,000 young carers across Kent, and Kelli Gardner, who leads the children and young person services for Imago, said caring for a family member can have a significant impact on the lives of these children.

"They get so much out of being with other young people who are experiencing the same issues in their life as them," she said.

"It gives them a chance to talk to their peers if they want to, but also activities they are doing here are just incredible. It's amazing for them to come away and just be able to be a child."

Read more: All the latest news from Tunbridge Wells

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