A young carer has smashed his fundraising target in a bid to raise money for our Youth Action Wiltshire service. 11-year-old Oliver from Aldbourne, near Marlborough is a year-6 pupil at St Michael’s School. Oliver has been mowing lawns and helping with gardening tasks in his village to raise money for Youth Action Wiltshire, an award-winning service for young people from Community First.
Oliver and his sister Katie are both young carers and currently access support, mentoring, coaching and respite activities through Youth Action Wiltshire. At the Community First AGM and Awards Celebration event in October 2022, Oliver also received an award in recognition of his amazing achievements and resilience in his caring role. Due to the support received, Oliver decided he wanted to give something back to the charity that helps him and his family and he decided to set up a fundraiser.
Oliver (right) receives a young carers achievement award from Mrs Sarah Troughton (left) HM Lord-Lieutenant of Wiltshire and President of Community First at the Community First AGM and Awards Celebration in October 2022.
With support from his Mum Hannah, Oliver created a Just Giving fundraising page in April 2023, with the original aim of raising £50 in support of Youth Action Wiltshire. Just two weeks later, Oliver had already smashed his original fundraising target and raised an amazing £350 by mowing lawns and helping with gardening tasks in his local community.
11-year-old Oliver mowing lawns and gardening to raise money for Youth Action Wiltshire.
Youth Action Wiltshire works with young people aged 5-18 years in Wiltshire, with some support offered to young people in Swindon. The service offers intensive mentoring, coaching and skills training for young carers, young victims of crime and young people facing challenges in their lives. Young people involved with Youth Action Wiltshire also take part in exciting adventure and respite activities during school holidays. Many of these activities such as camping, climbing, sailing, sports, crafts and conservation take place at Oxenwood Outdoor Education Centre and Linkenholt Countryside Adventure Centre which are also operated by Community First.
As a young carer, Oliver receives support and mentoring to help him in his caring role and attends Youth Action Wiltshire respite activities. This gives Oliver the opportunity to meet other young carers and spend time with specialist youth support workers employed by the charity. Oliver’s sister Katie is also a young carer and receives similar support from Youth Action Wiltshire.
Oliver’s Mum Hannah said:
“Oliver is proud to be a young carer and he was delighted to receive a young carers achievement award. I am grateful for the help and support offered to my children through Youth Action Wiltshire. It makes a real difference to them and I have seen their confidence grow. Oliver decided he wanted to raise money for the people that help him and I am so proud of what he has been able to achieve through his fundraiser. Thank you to everyone who has donated to Oliver’s fundraiser so far!”
Community First Chief Executive Lynn Gibson said:
“We are really proud of Oliver’s amazing fundraising achievement for Youth Action Wiltshire. It is a pleasure to support young carers like Oliver and to see the positive impact our service can have on young people and their desire to help make a difference for others. A very big thank you to Oliver and to everyone involved in supporting his inspiring fundraiser.”
2023 is a special year for Community First and our Youth Action Wiltshire service as it marks the 25th anniversary of our support for young carers. We began working with young carers in 1998 and have supported thousands of young people in Wiltshire who help to care for a family member or loved one at home. Research conducted by The University of Nottingham’s School of Education suggested up to one in five young people under the age of 18 in England have caring responsibilities. This can have an impact on school attendance and the mental health and wellbeing of young carers. Specialist support for young carers is vitally important to help them feel safe in their caring role and offer opportunities for them to achieve and thrive.
Due to an unexpected reduction in funding, Community First is urgently fundraising to support the continued delivery of services for young carers through Youth Action Wiltshire. Our Wiltshire Young Carers Service worked with 569 young carers like Oliver and Katie between 2022-2023 and received 165 new referrals. A total of 2,517 respite places were provided, including activities such as music and arts, water sports, cooking, archery and animal care. 167 young carers were also helped to produce a personalised support plan.
For more information about Youth Action Wiltshire and how you can get involved by supporting young carers, young people facing challenges in their lives and young victims of crime, please visit Youth Action Wiltshire or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can support Oliver’s fundraiser via the online fundraising page here