Thursday, 23 November 2017

Guest post: Young carers in Newcastle try Digesting Science

We have recently reached out to a number of young carer organisations across the country, encouraging them to hold a Digesting Science event (the Barts-MS set of activities explaining MS to 6-12 year olds). Recently, we got some great feedback from the South Tyneside Young Carers, and thought we'd share their fantastic work with you. Post by Levi Cosker, South Tyneside Young Carers Activity Officer.


Our Young Carers project offers services, information and support to young carers (YCs) aged 5 – 24 in the borough of South Tyneside. A young carer is someone aged 5 - 18 who helps look after someone in their family who is ill, disabled, suffering from ill mental health or misuses drugs or alcohol. Our service aims to improve the quality of their lives, reduce isolation, improve confidence and self-esteem as well as emotional and physical wellbeing.

We offer weekly after school groups for our YCs to participate in arts and crafts, team building games and sports. This weekly respite provided allows YCs the opportunity to spend time away from their caring role, enabling them to meet other children in similar situations to themselves, whilst also giving them the opportunity to enjoy being a child.

School holiday activities are also provided. Children are invited to attend fun and enjoyable activities in school holidays participating in cinema visits, family days, gravity force sessions and many more. We also offer respite weekends.

I just wanted to say a huge thank you from myself and all of the staff at South Tyneside Young Carers for the use of your Digesting Science MS Workshop equipment. It was very beneficial for our young people as they were able to learn about MS in a fun and enjoyable way. We delivered two MS workshops over two days with over 50 Young Carers and 20 staff/volunteers in attendance. The YCs thoroughly enjoyed the session and were more knowledgeable about the effects of MS afterwards.

The equipment was really easy to set up and deliver. Every activity was self-explanatory and explored the issues and symptoms associated with MS. The information given prior to the workshop was very easy to understand and very informative. The kit was delivered one week prior to our session allowing enough time to prepare for our event and ensure we as staff, were fully equipped for the workshop.

Each station has been set up in a child friendly manner and was very interesting for the children to participate in. They especially loved the Vitamin D game and the blood cells demonstration, even asking to play with the equipment after the session was finished. The stamps were also an excellent addition to the kit. The YCs felt like they had accomplished something throughout the workshop showing their lanyards off to parents at the end.

The kit, in the YCs' words, was “absolutely amazing” and we would definitely recommend any professionals working with YCs to deliver a Digesting Science workshop!

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Do you know anyone associated with young carers who would like to know more about Digesting Science? Email us on bookings@digestingscience.co.uk for more information, or comment below.


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