It is time for me to say a fond farewell to Andover Young Carers and reflect on 10 years of working for the charity.
Starting as a one day a week club volunteer in 2011, I realised that I wished to do more in supporting this group of amazing young people. When an opportunity to become a YC Buddy came up I worked hard to increase my experience and soon became involved providing buddy support to those that needed a little more.
By 2012 I was hooked; and progressed to a paid role as part-time Activities Worker and juggled that with my other job as a Lettings Manager (two very different worlds). My first outing as a Leading staff member was Thorpe Park where the YC’s decided my first roller coaster experience should be in the dark and backwards – Lovely!
After a short time away from AYC I returned to take on a joint role of Administrator and part-time Support Worker. This meant managing all those tasks that keep the Charity running, now ably managed by Suzie, and undertaking all the training courses on offer to develop into a full- time support worker.
The Support Worker role came to fruition in 2016 and I had really found my place within AYC – I have loved working with the YC’s offering one-one support as well as leading on many clubs. Developing relationships with schools and other professional partners has kept me busy over the years and made this role the most fulfilling I have ever held.
There have been many wonderful experiences spent with the Young Carers from fun at afterschool clubs, Halloween, and Christmas parties to the annual highlight of the Young Carers Festival. At the festival you may get no sleep, sun frazzled, washed away or all 3 in one weekend BUT it’s the best!! That is when you see young carers grow before your eyes and ooze with enthusiasm and confidence to try new things.
I have laughed and cried in this role and it is one that I will never forget. As I move on to try something a little different, I feel excited for those that will follow in my shoes.
Thank you to all the AYC volunteers that have supported me over the years – we couldn’t do it without you. Thank you to my colleagues who I have had so much fun with too, including Gina and Johanne who were the original team I joined.
My biggest thank you however goes to the Young Carers who are the most amazing bunch of young people. I thank all of them, past and present, for just being them and doing all they do.
Goodbye and good luck everyone
30 July 2021