Young carers enjoy three-day break in north Norfolk

Young carers in forest

Some 16 young carers enjoyed a three-day break in north Norfolk following a partnership between Holt Rotary, Holt Youth Project and the National Trust. - Credit: Holt Rotary

Some 16 young carers enjoyed a three-day break while based at a former activity centre in north Norfolk.

A partnership between Holt Rotary Club, the Holt Youth Project (HYP) and the National Trust allowed the children, aged from eight to 16, to visit Holkham ropes course, Watatunga wildlife reserve and Hunstanton Sea Life Centre.

They were based at Dial House, formerly Brancaster Activity Centre, which is run by the National Trust.

Young people enjoying forest

Some 16 young carers enjoyed a three-day break in north Norfolk following a partnership between Holt Rotary, Holt Youth Project and the National Trust. - Credit: Holt Rotary

Before the pandemic, the centre used to provide residential stays for disadvantaged school children, allowing them to explore the countryside.

When restrictions eased this summer, the National Trust began letting the centre to members of the public on an accommodation only basis, with numbers reduced to comply with Covid restrictions.

Earlier this year, Holt Rotary held meetings with the trust to explore forming a partnership to restore the activity centre, while Hunstanton and North Norfolk Rotary helped with finances.

Holt Rotary works with Holt Youth Project (HYP), a charity which supports 65 young carers from eight to 18-years old.

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John Rampling, member of Holt Rotary, said: "We were very much aware of the enormous pressure that Covid restrictions had had on the general well-being of some 65 young carers in north Norfolk who have to care for parents or siblings as well as self schooling whilst the schools were closed.

"It was seen as an emergency to provide these amazing young people with some form of respite care, even for two or three days, so they could enjoy a change of scene and get some much needed fresh air and companionship to re-charge their batteries."

Young carers enjoy forest walk

Some 16 young carers enjoyed a three-day break in north Norfolk following a partnership between Holt Rotary, Holt Youth Project and the National Trust. - Credit: Holt Rotary

Julie Alford, general manager of HYP, said: "The three-day break far exceeded our expectations and the young carers had the time of their lives."

Mr Rampling said that there are still around 40 further young carers who would benefit immensely from a bit of respite time and that the National Trust and Rotary are meeting with the intention of further developing their new partnership.