Young carers successful in new libraries pilot

Young carers from Southport recently took part in a unique pilot to help them meet challenges they face in their everyday lives.

The initiative from Sefton Council’s library service and Sefton Carers Centre, will enable young carers with a love of reading to indulge their passion while learning new skills.

Twelve girls from Greenbank High took part in the first session at Formby Library, after they were identified by their school as being at risk of falling behind in their studies due to their caring responsibilities.

At the pilot they were introduced to the library service’s e-lending service, Borrowbox, so that they do not have to worry about fines for late returns, while being able to reserve many more book and audio book titles.

Apprentices at Formby Library, who have developed their videography skills through the pioneering Chapters apprenticeship scheme with Sefton library service, passed on their knowledge in workshops they delivered to the young carers.

Supporting the apprentices was Louisa, a  library assistant in Formby Library, who herself has been a young carer.  The workshop was a huge success, culminating in a young carers book review, which you can watch at:

Cllr. Trish Hardy, Cabinet Member for Communities said:

“It is very heartening to see these young women grasp the opportunity presented to them with such aplomb. It is also pleasing to see our libraries and Sefton Carers Centre working together to make a real difference to young people’s lives.

“Sefton’s library service is consistently delivering new and innovative programmes tailored to our communities, helping them to tackle a wide range of issues, from social isolation to joblessness and much more besides”

“If you have not done so already, visit your local library. You will find they are vibrant places with a world of information, advice and help in a welcoming, fun environment.”

Andrea Watts, Head of Communities at Sefton Council said:

“For many young carers, reading books can be about escapism when they cannot meet their peers outside of school. Introducing them to the e-lending service is such a simple but brilliant idea – I hope this is the start of something special. 

“Young carers juggle lots of different worries that can affect their mental well being, so we should not underestimate bringing the girls together for this pilot. It enabled them to socialise and have fun around their love of books and meeting apprentices and staff at the library.

“That their first book review was so composed and polished, is something that both they and the library apprentices should be very proud of.”

If you know a young carer who struggles due to their caring role, tell them about Sefton Carers Centre. You can contact Sefton Carers Centre on 0151 288 6060. You can also discover support for young carers by asking at your local library.