TV show highlights young carers

Nicola James

Darlington Young Carers Service supports children and young people aged from 5 to 25 years and their families, to reduce the impact of their caring responsibilities.

Linda O’Neill, Project Leader, tells how she became involved with Helplines Partnership’s 2017 Annual Conference.

 

“The parent of one of our young carers, Kerami Roberts, informed us that she had been approached by Helplines Partnership, to be a guest speaker at their Annual Conference in London. The theme was ‘Life’s Journey’.

Kerami was going to speak about how the Scope helpline had such a positive effect on her life and that of her family and how it had supported her through difficult physical, mental and financial issues in her life. She wanted to highlight the benefit of the helpline and to show how the experience had changed her life so she was now able to volunteer for their helpline, to help others who were in a similar position to herself. She had also spoken to Scope about the way that her daughter had received vital support from our service and how this had helped the family immensely. As the initial person working with the family, I was invited by Helplines Partnership to join the discussion panel.

The format for this part of the Conference, was a TV show guest panel discussion which was being filmed for a Sky TV Health and Wellbeing Channel called the Chrissy B Show.

My day started when I travelled down to London Kings Cross from Durham and although I was really looking forward to the day, I must admit to also being a bit nervous about the filming for the TV and YouTube channels.  I have never been involved in this kind of format before, so although new experiences are exciting they can also be quite scary as well.

At the venue, I was met by Nicola James, Head of Membership at Helplines Partnership. She was extremely welcoming and instantly put me at ease. I then met up with Kerami and her husband who had also travelled down from the North East of England.

After lunch, we were then privileged to be part of the audience and have the opportunity to listen to other guest speakers.  I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the inspirational speakers, who each spoke about the ways that their lives had been changed by major life events.

After initial nerves, our part of the event went well. Thankfully, the discussions flowed really naturally and the TV show ran smoothly - we all enjoyed the experience. At the end of the show, Chrissy B motivated her guests and the audience, to take part in her ‘Dance for Mental Health’ routine to improve mental health.  This was great fun and everyone took part enthusiastically.

The Conference and the panel discussion were fantastic opportunities to highlight the important work that Darlington Young Carers carries out with children and young people in Darlington. I had the opportunity to speak about our service and this was backed up by positive feedback from Kerami.

The show clearly demonstrated the impact support services have and how lives are changed for the good.”

Darlington Young Carers Service is funded by Darlington Borough Council and NHS Darlington Clinical Commissioning Group.

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