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72 hours to help young carers like Roni

Young carer Roni Bridges has had to grow up fast as at the age of 10 she helps care for her mum and two-year-old twin sisters.

roni

Her mum Michelle suffers from anxiety attacks and is sometimes too worried to leave the house. Roni talks her through her anxieties, encourages her to go out and helps care for the twins.

This month Barnardo’s Cymru is asking people to support children like Roni in the Big Give Christmas Challenge, the UK’s largest match funding campaign which begins at 12pm on 29th November and lasts for 72 hours.

Any funding Barnardo’s receives will go towards its Young Carers groups. Almost 1,200 young carers across Wales are helped by the charity which  organises outings, regular meetings with other carers and one to one support and counselling for children like Roni who have to carry a lot of responsibility at a young age.

Roni is supported by Caerphilly Young Carers run by Barnardo’s Cymru and funded by the Caerphilly Families First Programme and Caerphilly Children’s Services.

She said:

I help my mum with her anxiety because she feels a bit wary when we go out. I tell her everything is going to be okay and explain that if she doesn’t feel safe we can come straight back home.

When my mum is having a shower or cooking I occupy my sisters and give them cwtches and I help put them to bed. It can be difficult sometimes but I also enjoy it.”

The Young Carers’ groups give youngsters a chance to meet other children facing similar challenges so they feel less isolated. It also gives them a break from their responsibilities and the space to be children.

Roni said:

I like Caerphilly Young Carers group because it gives me a break from caring and the one-to-ones help me understand my mum’s anxiety.

I’ve been on a sleepover and got to climb a climbing wall and abseil from the top, I’ve been bowling and been to the cinema. At Young Carers I’m surrounded by people who understand what I go through. I feel like I fit in.”

Mum Michelle said:

It’s very hard on Roni sometimes and I can’t thank Barnardo’s Cymru enough for the support they have given us. Just knowing there is someone at the end of the phone means so much and Roni really loves going to Young Carers, it stops her feeling alone.”

The campaign starts at 12pm (noon) on 29th November and runs until 12pm, Friday 2nd December. Barnardo’s will be able to double donations while  match funds last so is asking people to donate at https://secure.thebiggive.org.uk/project/25253

as soon after 12pm on Tuesday 29th November as possible.

You can read more about the Christmas Challenge on the Big Give website.


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