There were no men overboard but huge cheers from the sidelines when Young Carers took to the water on Saturday 16th August as part of a Family Day and Regatta organised in partnership with the Turn the Tide Boat Project.
The YCs were supported by their families and friends when they raced their canoes they had built from scratch at Fairlands Valley Sailing Lake as part of a pioneering scheme which gives young people aged 12 to 18 who are living in challenging situations the opportunity to work as a team and build a dinghy or canoe from scratch.
After completing the eight-week course the YCs took to the water while their friends and family enjoyed picnics on the banks of the lake.
Marriotts School pupil Jason George, 14, from Stevenage, helps care for his mother, Paula, who is blind, and his partially blind dad, Abner.
Jason, pictured in action, along with Libby Moore, 12, was delighted to win one of the races in his canoe named ‘Army Fire’. He said: “I painted it khaki green so it’s the same as the Army and it flies through the water like fire!”
He is one of nine children and is registered as a young carer with Carers in Hertfordshire. His mum Paula said: “Luckily we get a lot of support from school, such as homework club, but days like this give Jason the space just to be himself for a change.”
In addition to the races, younger children took part in a colouring competition and young carers left their mark on a graffiti wall by adding their messages to say how their caring role makes them feel.
For more information on Turn the Tide Boat Project call Pete Cross on 01438 842200.
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