We’ve just returned from an action-packed summer holiday filled with fun and creative activities.
Our Family Fun Day hosted by Sheffield City College enabled young carers and their families to enjoy a day out together and get the chance to try smoothie making, hair braiding, jewellery making, arts, crafts and yoga. There was something for everyone, with music from local artist Otis Mensah, Sheffield United youth team players putting young carers' football skills to the test, the Site Gallery getting people’s creative juices flowing and the Real Junk Food Project tantalising taste buds. It was lovely to see families relaxing and playing together and also getting the chance to meet other families in similar situations. One family told us it was "a fantastic day for all the family run by lovely people".
Our summer continued in full swing with trips to Norfolk Park and Firth Park. Both days allowed young carers to let off some steam in the play-park, enjoy a picnic, chill out and catch up with friends. Our Quasar trips allowed young people to put their stealth skills to the test, to work together in teams, and to have lots of fun too. (Trying to defeat members of staff also proved an exciting and popular challenge!).
SYC's annual trip to the outdoor pool at Hathersage proved as popular as ever, with lots of exciting attractions on the way. We got the train to Grindleford, had some lunch in the café there and then walked through the beautiful Peak District to Hathersage. The young people loved splashing about in the pool, with some even brave enough to take on the aqua obstacle course.
We returned to Whirlow Hall Farm Trust for our residential trips this year. Set on the edge of Sheffield with stunning views over the city and out into the Peak District, the farm's quiet location makes you feel like you’ve left the hustle and bustle of city life far behind. We stayed overnight to give our young carers a well-deserved break from it all and the two days were filled with adventure and new experiences: young people got the chance to get up close with the animals (in some cases a little too close when it came to mucking out the chickens and ducks!); learn about animal care and see first-hand how farms work; pick fruit and vegetables grown on the farm to make their own smoothies and pizzas; build dens and learn how to make bonfires in the woods (perfect for toasting marshmallows); ride ponies; and make wooden spinning tops from scratch using traditional methods. Players from Sheffield United’s youth team even came along one evening to use up any energy the young carers had left over with some fun games and activities.
All of our holiday activities are designed to allow young people to relax, have lots of fun and build strong friendships with other young carers. Here are just a few comments from the young people who took part:
“I enjoyed having a break from my caring role and being able to escape the busy city life.”
“I feel proud of myself for making new friends, I used to be shy and not talk to anyone but I talked to a few people and made friends.”
“I have enjoyed meeting new people and I also loved doing the activities.”
We couldn't do any of this without the support of our local community. A massive thank you to Whirlow Hall Farm Trust, Sheffield United, Sheffield City College, Otis Mensah, Quasar, Hathersage Swimming Pool, The Site Gallery and The Real Junk Food Project for helping to make our summer such a success!