Caring for someone who has a disability, mental illness, chronic illness or who is frail aged can be very challenging at times. So imagine being a young person and having this responsibility on your shoulders, along with having to go to school and dealing with all the other challenges today’s youth may face. Tough huh?
Just like any carer, young carers sometimes need respite; not just any type of respite… but a chance to have some fun.
The recent October school holidays became a lot more exciting for eleven young carers from Bathurst, Orange and Cowra, with a trip to Canberra thanks to the Commonwealth Carer Respite Centre (CCRC). The CCRC is an Australian Government initiative managed by LiveBetter Community Services in the Central West region of NSW.
These young carers, along with three LiveBetter Community Services support staff and an Anglicare worker, packed their bags and went on a trip to Canberra for education and fun!
Following an early morning start for the children aged from 14-16, their first stop was a no brainer – Questacon (The National Science and Technology Centre)! The children were over the moon to be immersed in all the fun and exciting science activities!
Parliament house was the following days adventure, with the group learning all about Parliament House’s building features and all about the lower and upper house.
The Young Carers loved being involved in an interactive session with The Parliamentary Education Officer. The highlight of their day was being involved in a mock Government sitting and pretending to be in control of the nation… only for an hour!
Next up was a trip to the National Art Gallery and Museum where they saw a magnificent Lego display as well as Australian historical displays.
The last stop of the day was at the Australian Institute of Sport where the Young Carers went on a tour and used interactive simulators as well as watched a few professional athletes training!
On the last day of the Canberra trip the group travelled to the National Zoo and Aquarium where the children saw all types of cute fish and animals!
The young carers had the best time! Full of excitement and engagement, the kids have all said they want to attend the camp next year if it goes ahead.
In the past, the CCRC has worked with other organisations like Kookaburra kids, House With No Steps and CentraCare to run young carer camps for kids in the local area. This Canberra camp has been the first in many years where it has been organised and run solely through the CCRC!
The Young Carer Program aims to support young people still engaged in school, who assist in caring for a family member with a disability, mental illness, chronic illness or who is frail aged. The key focus of the program is the young carer’s education. For more information, please call the CCRC on 1800 052 222.