I have been a Young Carers Transport Volunteer since the project started about 18 months ago.
I volunteer one night a week for between three and four hours, which is no great hardship.
Being a Young Carers Transport Volunteer entails collecting the youngsters from their homes, taking them to their club or meeting place and dropping them off, usually around 6.30pm. I go back to collect them at 8.30pm and then return them home.
Most of the carers I have transported have been in their early to mid-teens, and during the journeys I usually try and chat with them about their friends, their school (mixed response to that subject!), their holidays - or anything they may want to talk about. If you are also transporting any of their friends, then they’ll usually spend the journey chatting with them.
I decided to become a volunteer in order to try and contribute something to the local community. We moved to Worthing a few years ago and being retired I wanted to involve myself in some small way in the area we have settled in.
All the young carers I have transported have been polite, respectful and grateful for the little we do and I would strongly recommend volunteering to anyone who has a few hours a week to spare and the desire to help young people who are perhaps not having the easiest of times growing up. It has also certainly helped me to understand some of the pressures these young people live with.
If you can spare the time and would like to help young carers from your community then please email: FRT&YC.Admin@westsussex.gov.uk or call 01903 270300 by Tuesday, September 30.
Northcourt Road, Worthing
(Young Carers Transport Volunteer, West Sussex County Council)