Harrogate Advertiser archives: Starbeck young carers enjoy visit of Middlesbrough and Australia goalkeeper

This week, we look at what was making the headlines in the Harrogate Advertiser in October 2007.

A Premiership footballer paid a visit to Starbeck Youth Club to meet with young carers and promote the benefits of healthy eating and keeping fit.

Mark Schwarzer with young carers at Starbeck Youth and Community Centre.

Mark Schwarzer with young carers at Starbeck Youth and Community Centre.

Then-Middlesbrough goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, who also played for Australia, visited the club as part of community programme Creating Chances, which was set up after a donation of £1million from the Premier League and aimed to support good causes and charities throughout the country.

Middlesbrough chose 25 good causes – including the Carers’ Resource – to receive £2,000 each, while players made personal appearances in support of eight different causes.

Gill Gentle, head of carer services said: “We don’t get people acknowledging that young carers are important.

“We often hear of people in care, but less of those who care in their homes.

“These people have to make incredible sacrifices and very often have little fun in their lives.

“Mark’s visit will be a real treat for them and a great opportunity to learn about the lifestyle of a professional athlete.

“It’s also a reward for all the effort they put into looking after others.”

Mr Schwarzer spent several hours at the youth club talking to the children before taking part in a ‘Beat the Goalie’ competition. Two of the winning children were rewarded with a family ticket to the cinema and fruit hampers.

Ms Gentle added: “The young carers don’t have a social life; their time is taken up with caring. A lot of them are from single families so they don’t have many male role models.

“He was really good, really engaging, he could have been a youth worker himself.

“He was talking about achieving goals, and for us to see the young children respond to that was wonderful, he was really inspirational.

“I’d have him back any day; young people can look up to someone like him.”

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