Young carers from across the Bradford district have been developing their independence with a special travel training challenge.
Eighteen young carers set off on a treasure hunt, travelling from various locations across the Bradford district to a meeting point in the city centre.
The aim was to reduce anxiety around using public transportation by making it fun and providing support. Many young carers have little or no experience of using public transport, often because the disability of their family member makes it very difficult to access. This means they can miss out on opportunities to take time for themselves.
Local charity Carers’ Resource organised the event after successfully applying for a grant from Carers Trust.
Travel tickets were provided, and the young carers were accompanied by staff members from the Carers’ Resource young carers team. They were also given a guide to using public transport in Bradford.
One group met at Lister Mills, where the Carers’ Resource UTime Bradford West Area youth club is held, and travelled to Bradford Interchange. Young carers from the Keighley/ Shipley Family Hub area travelled via train. Among the group was Alfie, aged 11, who took responsibility for holding onto the tickets.
Isaiah, aged 13, who cares for his grandmother who has a variety of medical conditions that affect her mobility, and helps with chores, travelled via bus to Bradford Interchange. He strolled off the bus with a big smile saying he’d had “no problems” with his journey.
Following the task, almost all the young carers said they felt they understood public transportation better than before.
One said: “I am really happy I came and was able to do the journey. I never get the bus. I always get a taxi.”
Another added: “It was a very fun trip and I made new friends.”
Ketisha Dale, Carers’ Resource Bradford Service Manager, young carers team, said: “The activity went very well and we were very pleased with the turnout. There was a sense of fun and pride. It was a lovely and positive activity.
“It was a fantastic opportunity to engage in a conversation with young carers, parents and schools about some of the barriers to young carers travelling on public transportation. Anxiety, lack of current information and more confidence with accessing other forms of transportation all make a huge difference.”
Carers’ Resource provides a range of support to help young carers living in Bradford, Harrogate, Selby and Craven districts, including fun trips and activities in school holidays, youth clubs and one-to-one support. The service is designed to support young carers’ well-being and resilience, and to help them achieve their potential as successful, happy adults.
If you are a carer, or you know of a young carer, please visit our website at www.carersresource.org where you can find lots of information, and request further support – or call us on 0808 50 15 939 to speak to one of our advisers.