New Exmouth Charity For Child Carers

A NEW Exmouth charity that supports children as young as four who care for disabled family members is appealing for volunteers.

There are 180 children in East Devon and 60 in Exmouth, aged from four to 14 years, who care for their parents or siblings who are suffering from a physical or mental disability.

And the charity, Supporting Exmouth Child Carers (SECC), want potential ‘befrienders’ to come forward.

One of the founders, Tom Harvey-May, of Links Close, said: “They frequently have no social life. Once school is over they may have to rush home to make the tea and do numerous menial tasks that simply help keep the home running normally.

“They sadly also bear a lot of family responsibility and it is also a fact that they are often bullied at school because either children see them as different or as swots who don’t want to mix.

“The problems they face on a day to day basis are very demanding and they are very isolated.”

Tom added they need financial support – and is writing to householders appealing for funds.

Christine Harvey-May said they had a disabled daughter who needed care, and added that they want to offer regular outings and social gatherings for the children with others from around Devon.

“These children who have to care for disabled brothers or sisters don’t get out much, don’t have a social life and don’t have any fun because they are always putting their family first.

“We don’t look at the individuals being disabled; the whole family is disabled because everything revolves around them. We want to be able to provide some enjoyment in their lives – but it costs money.”

Several fundraisers have been organised, with a Christmas party to be held in the Moose Hall and, also in the hall, a coffee morning next Thursday, October 2, from 11am.

Sophie’s Restaurant is also holding a quiz-night fundraiser from 7.30pm the same day.

For more information call Tom or Christine on: (01395) 271369.