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BBC Children in Need Grant Supports Young Carers in Birmingham

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BBC Children in Need has awarded a grant to children’s charity Spurgeons to support young people who care for family members who misuse substances and/or alcohol.

The new service will enable young carers to cope better with the complex challenges and risks presented by caring for family members who misuse substances/alcohol (an estimated 6% of young carers). Spurgeons will partner with youth engagement specialists, Urban Heard to run group sessions to teach the young carers useful coping and life skills. These include stress management, making positive life choices, budget management and healthy cooking.

The 10 week programme will run twice a year and will address key topics such as domestic violence and substance and alcohol related first aid. The programme is co-designed by the young people themselves. It is strongly creative, including plenty of opportunity for discussion and feedback, and the opportunity to develop the normal healthy friendships which many young carers miss out on. Young carers will develop resources to help others in similar situations and will plan and participate in a final showcase event

Service manager Jackie Benton said,

“These particular young carers are exceptionally hard to reach and often remain hidden, due to the stigma of revealing details of their home lives to school mates and teachers. Thanks to BBC Children in Need, we will now be able to reach out to those most in need of guidance and support.”

Spurgeons supports 3,250 young carers a year across the country by providing support, respite groups, counselling, mentoring and one-to-one sessions. In Birmingham, through funding from the Local Authority it offers a wide range of support for young carers including monthly respite groups for different age groups, one-to-one support, counselling and access to information and guidance.

Anyone can make a referral and people can book onto the programme themselves. Please contact us now to find out more or to book onto the first programme, starting in March 2016. A referral form is available at: http://www.spurgeonsyc.org/birmingham/

Please call on 0121 227 7000 or email to find out more: birminghamyc@spurgeons.org

Notes to editors:

Spurgeons is one of the UK's leading children's charities, supporting children and their families for almost 150 years and delivering over 80 high-quality services reaching over 37,000 children and 78,000 parents or carers.

For more information about Spurgeons please visit www.spurgeons.org or contact Lauren Baldridge, marketing and communications intern, on 01933 417436 or email lbaldridge@spurgeons.org

About BBC Children in Need:

BBC Children in Need is a charity registered in England and Wales (802052) and Scotland (SC039557) whose aim is to make a positive change to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.

BBC Children in Need’s vision is that every child in the UK has a safe, happy and secure childhood and the chance to reach their potential. It aims to reach this vision by supporting, promoting and publicising work that addresses the challenges that children and young people face and work that builds their skills and resilience.

The Charity currently supports c.2,500 projects that are working with children facing a range of disadvantages for example, poverty and deprivation; children who have been the victims of abuse or neglect or disabled young people.

The BBC Children in Need 2015 Appeal show was on BBC One on Friday 13th November and raised a record-breaking £37.1 million on the night. For further information about the Charity, visit bbc.co.uk/pudsey

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