Wightlink supports the Isle of Wight’s young carers

The Isle of Wight’s young carers are to receive support with cross-Solent travel, thanks to a new partnership between Wightlink and YMCA Young Carers.

On national Young Carers Day, the ferry operator announced its plans to work with the Island-based charity to support respite trips to the mainland for the children and young people it helps.

Trudie Augustus-Harris from YMCA Young Carers says: “We are delighted that Wightlink has chosen to support our work and assist us with travel for our group respite trips which take place throughout the year during school holidays.

“We currently work with around 280 registered young carers aged between five and 18 to provide practical help, support and respite, but it is estimated that there are more than 1300 young carers on the Island.

“The trips we arrange are so important as they provide a break from the children’s day-to-day lives of looking after parents or siblings and offer an environment where they can talk openly with other children who understand what life is like as a young carer.

“Our trips to the mainland vary – we might go to a theme park, the theatre or enjoy an afternoon at the Pyramids leisure centre in Portsmouth, it all depends on the age and interest of those in the group.

“Wightlink’s support is going to make a huge difference to the number of children and trips we are able to offer throughout the year, we are really grateful for their support.”

Keith Greenfield, Wightlink Chief Executive says: “Support for the Island’s young carers is an important part of our commitment to supporting the Island’s young people, whether that be through the council’s Talented Athlete scheme, via our partner schools or through the many groups, clubs and organisations we sponsor.

“Young Carers are an important group that we are particularly keen to assist as we know that mainland travel and respite breaks are very valuable to their wellbeing.

“We are delighted to announce this partnership on national Young Carers Day which quite rightly draws attention to the fantastic work that they do, but also the challenges they face.”

Picture: Wightlink’s Head of Port Operations Dean Murphy with Trudie Augustus-Harris from YMCA Young Carers