MORE than 2,000 young carers in Devon are set to benefit from the launch next weekend at the Calvert Trust on Exmoor of Devon Young Carers, a support service which is getting a £300,000 grant from the county council. Devon Young Carers has been establish

MORE than 2,000 young carers in Devon are set to benefit from the launch next weekend at the Calvert Trust on Exmoor of Devon Young Carers, a support service which is getting a £300,000 grant from the county council.

Devon Young Carers has been established by four charities - TTVS, Young Devon, Westbank and Unite - to address the needs of young people providing care and support to other family members, primarily a parent or a sibling.

Young carers are put in a position of great responsibility at a very young age; dealing with situations that many adults would find a challenge. These children and young people have to cope in difficult circumstances, often not only looking after their relative but also helping to bring up siblings and run a household.

Devon Young Carers will provide a consistent and high quality approach to the way these 2,000 young carers are supported. It expects to offer a whole range of services and social events over the next two years.

The types of services young carers will benefit from include mentoring; drop-in sessions and clubs; school clubs; respite activities; family support; advocacy and information and signposting to other services.

Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People's Health and Wellbeing, said: "The role young carers play in supporting family members is inestimable, but often has a profound impact on their own lives.

"Devon Young Carers provides a highly valued service by giving young carers time out from their responsibilities, the chance to mix with other young people in similar situations, and support and advice when they need it, and we are delighted to be supporting them.

"The Calvert Trust is a most wonderful place in Devon with fantastic facilities and brilliant dedicated staff - amazing people."

Julia Lock, Devon Young Carers Manager, said: "This funding will enable the four charities to work together more efficiently in order to deliver a robust and effective service. This project can only be of benefit to the 2,000-plus young carers across Devon. Until recently they have had a patchy response to their needs, and one which was so dependent on where they lived."

Devon Young Carers is supported by many of the Rotary Clubs across Devon, which fund residential weekends for young carers at the Calvert Trust, Exmoor, through its Bursary Fund for Young Carers.

Ron Jones of Barnstaple Link Rotary said: "Several Rotary Clubs in Devon already support the Calvert Trust, Exmoor; however the beauty of this scheme is that our donations will not only benefit the centre but will also enable Rotary Clubs to help these very special young people who give so generously of themselves in caring for others within their families. It is a win-win situation in which both the young carers and the Calvert Trust are beneficiaries.