We run a group for young carers in North Hertfordshire aged 8-18 that meets fortnightly during term time. The group offers respite and peer support in a safe and fun environment.

We generally run three different activities: sports, cookery and arts and crafts. There is always badminton and table tennis available. We have recently played volleyball and dodge ball, made paninis and brownies in the kitchen and pompoms and puppets in the art room.

The high proportion of adults to young carers means there’s always someone to have a quiet chat with. The essence of the group is to provide a safe place where the young carers can come and feel safe and supported. A strong vein of caring, respecting and valuing the circumstances and skills of all the young carers runs through everything we do.

Peer support is important too. Often feeling very isolated, many of the young carers form strong, enduring friendships when they come to the group.

The group gives young carers a place where they can ‘just be themselves’ and hopefully have fun too.