BOLTON young carers (Rhys, 10 and April, 14) will co-host a live two hour radio show on Thursday, 31 January at 96.5 BoltonFM to raise public awareness of the challenges faced by young people because of their caring role, and to ask listeners to pledge their support for the town’s young carers.
The project has been funded by Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, who have just launched a Carer Friends and Family Strategy – the first of its kind for the Trust.
As part of the show, Rhys and April will highlight some of their experiences as young carers and interview local service providers, commissioners and politicians, including Chris Green, MP and the Chief Executive of Bolton Council, Tony Oakman. They’ve also created a music playlist including young carers’ favourite tunes from across town.
Rhys and April are part of Bolton FM’s new young carer initiative, Young Voices which aims to empower young people to shape their world and lead change. Tailored workshops at the radio station allow them to develop communication skills whilst reducing social isolation and facilitating peer support.
April’s mum, Kim Dorsett said: “April's confidence has soared since taking part in Young Voices. She’s met like-minded young people in a similar caring role, making her feel less isolated, many of whom she’s become friends with.
“It’s also helped her to release pent up emotions by talking to someone other than me.
It's given her a sense of pride and by speaking out, she might be helping other young carers to ask for support.”