Young carers head out to sea for weekend trip

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A GROUP of young carers from Harrogate have been given an unusual break from their responsibilities.

The 11 boys, all aged between 12 and 17, were taken aboard James Cook, a specially-designed yacht, and enjoyed a weekend-long trip along the north-east coast.

It was organised using funding from the Charles and Elsie Sykes Trust, The Carers’ Resource and sailing training organisation Ocean Youth Trust (OYT) North. The boys formed part of the crew and learned how to navigate, set the sails and take the helm, while also taking responsibility for all the cooking and cleaning under the guidance of skipper Grace Metcalfe.

Fiona Demain, young carer activities co-ordinator at the Carers’ Resource, said: “It was a brilliant experience for all the boys and they embraced every challenge that this unique opportunity threw at them.

“Being able to see them in this environment and deal with the alien feeling of being in a confined space, carrying out a challenging role on the open sea was fantastic and we’ll certainly be looking to make a return trip.

“Due to their caring role at home these boys have little chance to enjoy the more carefree aspects of growing up and we’re always looking at new and exciting ways to give them a break and help their personal development.”

The boys also had the chance to do some stargazing while away from light polution - and even spotted the International Space Station passing overhead.

For more information about OYT North, visity www.sailjamescook.com. For details about the Carers’ Resource, which covers Harrogate, Craven, Bradford and Airedale and offers vital support to young carers, visit www.carersresource.org.uk.