Young carers centre in Oban received £83,836 boost

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An Oban charity which supports young carers in North Argyll has received more than £80,000 from BBC Children in Need.

North Argyll Carers Centre, located on Albany Street, has been awarded £83,836 over three years.

This will help the charity offer support and activities to young carers from Oban and its surrounding areas.

This will be delivered through after-school peer support group sessions during term time, school holiday respite day trips, and three residential opportunities throughout the year.

Morag MacLean, manager at North Argyll Carers Centre, said: ‘We’re delighted to have been awarded this grant from BBC Children in Need which will enable us to give the young carers in our area the chance to take some time out from their caring responsibilities and have fun with their friends.

‘It will enable us to transport them to and from groups and to do respite activities.

‘We are delighted to receive this funding and alongside community partnerships such as our links with Oban Rotary Club and funding from Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership, it makes a real difference to how we can support young carers. Thank you to everyone who has made this possible.’

The North Argyll Young Carers Centre aims to develop young people’s self-esteem and confidence, as well as helping them to develop skills.

Last year, Oban Rotary Club donated £12,000 to the centre, to be distributed over three years.

Mrs MacLean added: ‘The [Children In Need] funding is great, but we could not do what we do without the continued support from the Rotary.’

Florence Burke, national head of Scotland at BBC Children in Need, added: ‘We are delighted to fund the work of North Argyll Carers Centre and look forward to seeing the difference that this grant will make to children and young people across Oban.’

We previously reported that the North Argyll Carers Centre in Albany Street works with 104 young carers and young adult carers, although government estimates suggest there could be as many as 547 in the area.

The centre has urged people to help identify young carers so they can get early help.

The Albany Street service offers support at Oban High School and is hoping to build up more links with the area’s primary schools.

It can work on a one-to-one basis and has a young adult carers group, for 18- to 25-year-olds.

Volunteer drivers are needed and the service requires more youth work qualified sessional-workers to get in touch.

To find out more about the service at North Argyll Carers Centre, call 01631 564422 or go to northargyllcarers.org.uk