A Stockton-on-Tees children’s charity is celebrating its milestone 21-year anniversary of supporting young carers in the Borough.
Eastern Ravens Trust supports children and young people under the age of 18 who provide regular and ongoing physical and emotional care, personal care or practical support to a family member who is physically or mentally ill, disabled, or affected by substance misuse.
The charity is commissioned by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council and NHS Tees Valley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to help young carers to minimise their caring roles and responsibilities and to improve their own health, well-being and quality of life.
Eastern Ravens has been supporting young people in Stockton-on-Tees since 1961 and set up its first young carers group on 1 April 2000.
Since then, staff and volunteers have secured more than £750,000 in grants to give opportunities and support to over 3,000 local young carers and their families – helping them to access vital information, advice and guidance.
Throughout the years the charity has come up with innovative ways to support those most in need, such as developing a ‘mini ravens’ scheme to identify young carers aged 4+ and launching a Young Carers Card to help young people get the support they need more easily and without having to repeatedly explain their circumstances or family situation.
The service was the first of its kind in Stockton-on-Tees to be granted Investing in Children membership which recognises its work to enable young people of all ages, and living in all circumstances, to help to shape local services in their communities.
Over the years, the service has received many prestigious accolades including winner of the 2014 Regional Youth Work Awards’ Youth Participation Initiative, the Youth Led Project Award at the British Youth Council’s Youth on Board Awards, and two Stockton-on-Tees Mayor’s Civic Awards.
Tracey Hamilton, Trust Manager, said: “This is such an amazing achievement for the organisation and in recognition of young carers themselves. So much has developed and changed on this vital agenda since the service first started and I am so very proud of everything we have accomplished in supporting young carers in our Borough.”
Martin Gray, the Council’s Director of Children’s Services, added: “Young carers do an incredible job of supporting their loved ones but it’s vitally important they also have somewhere to turn when they need some help and guidance and that’s what Eastern Ravens Trust excels at.
“The charity provides invaluable support to children, young people and their families so they can realise their hopes and dreams and have the same opportunities as their peers. I’d like to thank them for all of their hard work and achievements over the years and wish them all the very best for the future.”
For further information on Eastern Ravens Trust, visit www.easternravenstrust.org