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We care, count... Gravells Visits GYC County Councillor, Andrew Gravells, Cabinet Member for Health and Well Being, pledged to talk to his colleagues with ‘conviction and compassion’ about the support we, as young carers, give to our families. His comments came after two meetings with young carers at the charity’s offices in Twigworth at which some of us shared our experiences and talked about the challenges we face at home and school. During his visit he referred to young carers as ‘unsung heroes’ and showed enthusiastic support for what we do for our families. He said: “The work you do is incredible. Unsung Heroes. What you do for your families...it annoys and upsets me that people give you a hard time. When I talk to my colleagues I will talk with conviction and compassion about what you do.” The County Council will decide upon funding to support young carers in the county in the coming months. Councillor Gravells said of Gloucestershire Young Carers: “Everything you do makes a difference to these guys’ lives and the lives of the people they care for.”

Editor’s Note Hi there. I’m Esme, editor of this informative issue of We Care, We Count. We have included a range of stories from interviews with a County Councillor who could be important in GYC’s future and an author who has looked at the challenging issue of autism to the story of when young carer Faiza made headlines. Hope you enjoy this issue. Esme

Safe, Sorted and Supported Young carers in Gloucestershire have launched a booklet for other young people in caring roles called: ‘Safe, Sorted and Supported’. We are hoping the booklet will enco urage parents to talk to their child abo ut what would happen in an emergency or wha t to do when the person being cared for becomes too unwell. The booklet contains information from who lives in the house to working out a ‘story’ that the young carer can tell their friends if they wouldn’t underst and about the home situation. The layout of the booklet is very easy to use and understand for any age grou p. It aims to keep all the important informa tion that may be needed in one plac e to make it accessible to both the young person in the caring role and whoever may be looking after them. A member of our Young Carers’ Foru m who was part of the group that created Safe , Sorted and Supported said: “I was invo lved in the whole process from deciding wha t information to put into the booklet to creating the imaginative plasticine models to illustrate it and make it more age appropriate. “It was so much fun putting it together and it feels like I’ve been part of something worthwhile.”.

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Elisha’s Story Hi. I’m Ellie. I’m 13 and I care for my mum who suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which is also known as ME. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a condition that varies from day to day so I often help my mum out around the house with things like cleaning and cooking for my mum and my siblings. I’ve been involved with Gloucestershire Young Carers for the last few months and I really like attending because it helps me get away from things at home and lets me meet new people who are in a similar situation to me.

New Staff w Transitions Worker Debbie Nicholds is the ne ung Carers. She started here at Gloucestershire Yo earlier this summer. d in Tewksbury school Debbie previously worke might have met her where many young carers young carers attending as she worked to identify e them with essential the school, trying to provid support. her to a job at GYC When asked what attracted job and she said: “It was a dream n.”We tio isa it is an amazing organ know look forward to getting to g our new worker. Also joinin as ith Sm the team are: Pam d Volunteer Co-ordinator an Lucy Garden as Family re Empowerment Worker. Mo . ue about them in the next iss

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a condition that affects sufferers in a variety of ways such as co-ordination, concentration and speech. Sufferers can have periods of good health with sudden relapses into bad health. The condition is made worse by temperature changes, infections, operations and stressful events. www.meassociation.org.uk Andrea Hannis is the newl y employed Family Advocat e Worker here at GYC and started her post on the 14th of Au gust. She has spent the last few years working on her own busin ess which involved selling vin tage pressed glass and hand de corated mirrors. Andrea decided to apply for her position here becau se she was keen to work wi th young people again. Sh e sai d “I am really looking forwa rd to meeting as many yo un g carers as I can over the co ming months”. We would like to welcome her to the tea m and I’m sure we all loo k forward to meeting her too .

Croft Farm Six of us went to Croft Farm for two nights. We had met up before the weekend to have an ‘ice-breaker’ where we met each other for the first time. We all have similar issues at home. We talked about rules for the weekend at the ice-breaker. We arrived at Croft Farm on the Friday evening and then just relaxed watching TV or playing games. On the Saturday we did raft building which was fun. On the Sunday we did bungy jumping – the one that back. While we doesn’t go in the air but where you run as far as you can and it flings you and dads were at the weekend we did talk about our family situations and our mums about how we and Jess and the other workers there asked us questions to get us to talk felt which was OK. We did lots of work on answering questions on paper. for myself. The very best part of the weekend was making new friends and having time group the to come I now and group to When I got home I got a letter about coming every week and am enjoying it.

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Young Carers Meet...... .......Mark Haddon Five minutes with a celeb! Mark Haddon is an award winning author of children’s novels. Five vital questions……. 1. What’s your happiest memory from when you were a child? We used to play this game when we were 10 or so. It was called Traffic Wardens I think. You had to cycle as fast as you could round the house. The person playing the traffic warden would hide somewhere along the route and leap out at the last minute and ram a stick into the spokes of your back wheel. We thought it was absolutely hilarious. I’m quite surprised, looking back, that we didn’t end up in hospital. 2. Who has helped you most in your life? My wife, Sos. Among many other things she is also my best editor. I never let anything leave the house before she has read it. And she always tells me when I’ve written rubbish which I do on a regular basis. 3. If you could change one thing in your life – what would it be? Whenever anyone asks me this kind of question I remember the episode of the Simpsons where Homer rewires the toaster and accidentally turns it into a time machine. He keeps going back into the past and giving dinosaurs colds or treading on some seemingly insignificant insect then returning to the present to find that he has fundamentally altered the entire course of the planet’s history. So... I am not going to change a single thing about my life because I like things just as they are. 4. Have you ever had to miss something really important because you put your family first? I’m a writer, not a surgeon or an airline pilot, so I never have to do anything really important. No-one dies if I miss a deadline or forget to turn up somewhere. Plus I get to pick the kids up from school. 5. Who do you admire most? Because it seems so vitally important at the moment I’m going to say the Labour MP and Minister Aneurin Bevan for setting up the National Health Service.

Faiza Hits the Headlines I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to be interviewed on BBC Radio Gloucestershire abou t Gloucestershire Young Carers and the positive impa ct the charity has had on my life over the years. Earlier in the Summer I met BBC Radio journalist Rachel Stonehouse who would be conducting the interview. She was really friendly and easy to talk to, which made me feel more comfortable about discussing my circumstances at home. We spoke about the chari ty in general and I made a point of emphasising the great work they do. We also discussed schools and how they deal with pupils who have caring responsibilities at home which gave me the opportunity to talk abou t my own experiences during my formative years at scho ol (although things have improved drastically since I was at secondary school!). During the interview, I was asked about my home life and what kind of things I did around the home to help my parents and my experiences of being a young carer. However, I was conscious of not making the interview negative, inste ad, concentrating on how much my confidence has grow n due to the support I have received over the years . I am really grateful for the opportunity of being interviewed and I hope I have done Gloucestershir e Young Carers proud, and have helped to promote the cause. Faiza

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Painting Challenge Darren Baker is a nationally renowned artist, well known for his portrait of The Queen. At first glance his paintings look like photographs as he captures the details, colours and shadows extraordinarily. Darren is now supporting a fundraising campaign for Gloucestershire Young Carers being run by Cotswold District Council and he says: "I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with young carers and be involved in a project that will hopefully raise awareness and raise money for the work being done in the Cotswolds to support them and their families." But he needs your help. He is looking for young people to paint the Cotswolds, a project that is running throughout primary and secondary schools where any student may enter an A4 painting of their idea of the Cotswolds. What image comes to mind when you think of the Cotswolds? Darren will be coming to schools to promote the project. Through assemblies and sessions it will be a great experience for young artists to work with Darren to see how he works and get some great tips and advice. All entries must be submitted to: Rosemary Lynn, Cotswold District Council, Trinity Road, Cirencester, GL7 1PX. Deadline is December 21st. Fantastic prizes available for the winners and runners up. Darren plans then to paint a picture of the Cotswolds using your images as inspiration. The draft design will then by auctioned to raise money for Gloucestershire Young Carers and the Stroke Association, chosen charities of Cotswold District Council.

Your Newsletter Needs You!! Are you interested in journalism? Does photography appeal to you? Do you want to have a say about what articles go in this newsletter? Gloucestershire Young Carers are always looking for young carers to help write articles and take part in producing this newsletter. If you are interested please contact Laura on 01452 733060 or email laura@glosyoungcarers.org.uk.

Healthy Schools In working together in partnership with Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning (GHLL), Gloucestershire Young Carers is launching the young carers strand for schools and colleges. It is hoped that schools and colleges will demonstrate best practice in four main areas: Leadership and Management, Support and Awareness, Tracking and Monitoring and Young Carers Voice. This will ensure that young carers in the county enjoy the same life chances as all other children in the school community. A number of schools and colleges have already shown an interest in the accreditation. Elaine Drew, Development Lead for Schools at Gloucestershire Young Carers, says: “I really hope this award will improve the identification and support of young carers in schools and that it will promote a better understanding amongst other students of the issues and challenges that young carers face on a day to day basis.” For guidance and support with the Young Carer strand please contact Gloucestershire Young Carers. For more general information on the Gloucestershire Healthy Living Award go to: www.ghll.org.uk

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Fundraising News for his sister John Predgen has been raising money 28.75 by cycling £23 of l tota a d Helen’s Bursary. He raise s. roat O’G from Land’s End to John Gloucestershire Shelly Hitchings, Finance Manager for ury 10k run. She Young Carers, took part in the Tewkesb from Birdlip nts participated as part of a team of pare Bursary. the School. She also was raising money for Shelly raised £441.07. rs registered with Helen’s Bursary is open to young care Gloucestershire Young Carers and are aged between 16 and 24. Its aim is to help reduce the obstacles faced in accessing their chosen career. For more information please see our website.

Website: www.glosyoungcarers.org.uk Have you seen our website lately? It is packed full of interesting information about all things to do with Gloucestershire Young Carers. The news page is updated to tell young carers about forthcoming events. There is also a Forum page which contains youth forum updates as well as pictures. The website includes links to other pages like NHS Gloucestershire and the National Young Carers website. If you have any information that could be put on the website to benefit young carers then Trina would like to hear from you call 01452 733060 or e-mail trina@glosyoungcarers.org.uk

Gloucestershire Young Carers 7 Twigworth Court Business Centre, Twigworth, Gloucester, GL2 9PG Tel: 01452 733060 Email: mail@glosyoungcarers.org.uk www.glosyoungcarers.org.uk

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DART 2012

Croft Farm

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Young Carer s

Festival 2012

Jubilee Celebration

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