Volunteer

Volunteers are the “magic key" to our success

Volunteer

Volunteering at Cheshire Young Carers is a great way to develop skills and gain experience and also help to improve the lives of young carers who need support.

Volunteers at Cheshire Young Carers help us change the lives of a special group of young people, offering fantastic rewards through experiences that really help local communities. Alongside the training and overall experience, volunteers are always supported to explore what role suits them best and how their volunteer role can be enjoyed with the right balance between fun, challenges and rewards.

In 2011, CYCs volunteer workforce received an MBE from the Queen for “producing ground-breaking results in the area of improving health and wellbeing for young carers.”

Cheshire Young Carers (CYC) offers support to young carers across Cheshire and our volunteers play a huge role in delivering this support, we would be unable to function without the time and effort that our Volunteers give. Each of our volunteer’s skills and experiences allow them to engage with young carers at fortnightly respite sessions, on activity days or special events. This makes being one of our Volunteers so rewarding and enjoyable. Volunteers are always supported to explore what role suits them best and how their volunteer role can be enjoyed with the right balance between fun, challenges and rewards.

The young people who access the service are often disadvantaged educationally and socially and lack opportunities for personal development. Being a volunteer gives you a chance to make a difference and have a positive impact on a young person’s wellbeing. As a volunteer you will:

• Improve the health and wellbeing of young carers
• Reduce negative effects of caring
• Support young carers to achieve positive outcomes
• Promote positive self-identity and independence
• Reduce Social Isolation amongst young carers

Being a volunteer is so greatly valued and as well as learning new skills and having new experiences, you are welcomed with open arms into our team. Building new friendships with staff, other volunteers and especially our young carers, is what makes these opportunities even more rewarding.

Here is what our volunteers have to say:

Kate

“I volunteer with CYC because I have time to give and I like to think the minor contribution I make could offer a small benefit to the young carers.

I thoroughly enjoy being involved with all the activities and getting to know everybody.

CYC are doing such important work and I got to see this first hand on my trip to the lake district last summer with a great bunch of young carers. It was fantastic to see the development of character over the few days, the forming of friendships and how formerly quiet individuals came completely out of their shells. This is the magic CYC are doing. They are helping to support and develop amazing young people. I am so proud to say I am part of such an important organisation.”

“My most memorable experience was going to Carden Park for a day of high rope, treasure hunts, team games and evening party. It was such a great day and all the young carers were so happy to be there it was something that they clearly do not get to do. One child said ‘this is the best day of my life’, he was so excited about it all”

“Wow what an experience! Learning more about the challenges young people face was invaluable. Helping them to overcome these has also given me new valuable skills that I can use again. It’s an amazing feeling knowing you have added something to a young person’s day or even life”

“Although I led the dance sessions it was certainly a team effort and we were really able to be there for some of the young people and encourage them to take part. Dance is an incredible way for the young people to express their deepest fears and worries, the things they dare not speak about. Without words we are able to see just how much they have to cope with and how it affects them. For many of the young carers this was a project they looked forward to coming to every week. They built trust and friendships and there was a real sense of peace amongst them”

In addition the young carers at CYC have said that they value being supported by volunteers as they feel as though the support is genuine as a person is giving up their own time and that this builds stronger relationships

“ Cheshire young carers are amazing. They have helped my girls through some very tough times. The staff are amazing, I class them as friends. Nothing is too much trouble and they are always at the end of a phone if needed. Thank you so much. ”

Parent

“ Thank you for giving Dominic this great experience, he has had an amazing time and says he didn’t want to come home!! he is still buzzing about it. Thank you for helping me in helping him to gain more independence and life skills. He loved the zip wire activity and the body boarding and was full of educational facts about the hidden garden. He wants us to all go as a family. ”

Parent

“ We have a fantastic group of Young Carers staying with us this week from around Cheshire. I've been lucky to spend a little time today with 10 year old Caitlyn who helps to look after her twin brothers, one of whom has additional needs. Caitlyn talked so positively about taking on this role, it was clear that she's a caring young girl who loves to help. Cheshire Young Carers provides fortnightly sessions for these fantastic children, a time for them to play and have fun and to meet other children who are taking on a caring role. Caitlyn told me how much she loves these sessions and how great it is to spend time with other children who are 'helpful' too. We're honoured to offer these amazing children a break away from their caring roles in a supportive, fun and safe environment here at CAFT. These children deserve to be celebrated every day of the week, but especially today - National Siblings Day today. We're in awe of these caring young children and it's an honour to spend time with them during their stay. ”

CAFT

“ My son attends young carers and I have to say what an absolute amazing charity this is, it gives the young carers some fantastic opportunities which they may never have had experienced without the charity. Hats off to all the staff they are all welcoming and caring towards the young carers and it's them that make the charity and of course all the lovely kind donations. ”

Parent

“ A huge thank you to all the team who work so hard to arrange these events- what an amazing opportunity for the children! ”

Parent

“ The Fly Day was SO AMAZING! cannot thank the CYC team, the pilots, police helicopter staff and support staff enough for this fantastic opportunity for all my boys. Nothing was too much trouble, everyone did so much to make them feel special, and give them such happy memories. They learnt a lot. To have an event that the whole family could share in was fab. To see my 13year old autistic son go from being too scared to fly to going up and actually flying the plane- “thank you” doesn’t even begin to cover it. ”

Parent

“ Joining CYC as a volunteer in May of last year has enabled me to rebuild the confidence I’d felt I had lost in supporting young people. When I started with CYC my confidence had hit rock bottom and I wasn’t sure how I’d get on but working with CYC and the young carers has given me back some of that confidence I’d lost as well as being an absolute joy to support you all with what you do so thank you. ”

Volunteer

“ Cheshire young carers do a fab job helping and supporting their young carers in their roles and also helping them to be kids again. My daughter’s confidence has grown so much since attending these sessions. From the bottom of my heart I thank Cheshire young carers and children adventure farm trust for everything you do. she has just arrived home and had an amazing time. ”

Parent

“ Today's Trip our guests were Cheshire Young Carers our guests gave us a couple of thank you cards at the end of the trip, first time that has happened, and it was very kind of them to do that. It was an absolute pleasure to have such a lovely group of people on the boat. ”

Wirral Narrowboat Community Trust

“ What a fantastic programme this Summer! Many thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to organise or contribute to it. Thank you again. ”

Parent

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