Wigan Warriors and Leigh Leopards put rivalry aside to support Wigan and Leigh Young Carers
Both clubs came together to offer carers and young carers memorable opportunities and fundraising support leading up to the local derby game on Saturday 29th July 2023.
Over 800 carers, staff and volunteers were invited to attend the local fixture rugby league game held at the DW Stadium in Wigan. Some young carers were also given the opportunity to stand as ‘guard of honour’ for the players as they entered the pitch. A once in a lifetime experience!
Ahead of the match, carers and young carers were also invited to attend both clubs ‘Captain’s Run’, watching the players train, time for autographs and photos – a real VIP experience!
Wigan and Leigh Carers Centre is an is an independent registered charity (1138908) supporting unpaid carers who look after people living in Wigan borough. The charity make support and services available for all of Wigan’s unpaid adult carers, young carers, professionals and employers who work with carers.
The Wigan and Leigh Young Carers charity also supports those aged 5-24 who care for a parent or close family member. The service offers support and advice, the chance to meet other young people who are carers, and activities and trips out.
One service user, Jordell, has opened up about her experience with the charity, which started back in 2015.
“Wigan and Leigh Young Carers truly are an amazing organisation and I wouldn’t change my experience for the world.
“When I first became involved with the service, I was a caring for my three younger siblings. I was responsible for meal preparation, personal care, and ensuring that they attended school, which resulted in me missing out on my own education. I had no time to do the things that I love and that resulted in me becoming socially isolated from my friends. However, that soon changed.
“I started at Wigan and Leigh Young Carers by attending group sessions that involved activities like roller skating, going out for meals, cinema trips, crazy golf, or even just a chilled social session to unwind. This gave me a chance to become myself again, it gave me the opportunity to meet new people and make amazing new friends that I could relate to, share stories and advice, and improve my social skills massively.
“At Christmas, we had the opportunity to meet other young carers across the borough that attended different groups, giving us the chance to meet lovely new people you wouldn’t normally see at the fortnightly groups. We were also very kindly given presents by the staff and volunteers which wouldn’t have been possible without the multiple charities and organisations that made donations to us. Christmas groups were my favourite!”
However, in 2017 Jordell moved in with her grandmother, taking on the role of her carer instead. In this time her own mental health began to suffer, but the charity were on hand to offer 1-2-1 emotional support, in addition to skills training for building a new future.
“As well as groups and well-being support, they also offer amazing opportunities to young carers like me, one of them being First Aid training. Basic first aid is such a valuable, and in my opinion, essential life skill to have; especially if you are caring for someone. Completing this training opened a range of job opportunities for me, resulting with me working in childcare to HR support and now I am going back to college to pursue my life-long career of being a paramedic – all thanks to training course offered to me through Wigan and Leigh Young Carers.
“At the age of 16, I moved into supported accommodation in and I had so much support from Nicola and the team through this very difficult transition. From simple things such as cleaning supplies to get me started, food bank referrals, Christmas food hampers, and even a laptop to support me through my college work. This transition was especially hard, as it was during COVID-19, however that didn’t stop Wigan and Leigh Young Carers. Group sessions still carried on via group ‘Zoom Bingo’ sessions and 1-2-1 support was now a friendly phone call and catch up.
“I carry Wigan and Leigh Young carers close to my heart as it has given me the knowledge and life skills I have today that I can now pass on to my own little boy. I have met people I will treasure for life and memories I will never forget. They are such a valuable part of the community and the minute you walk in to that first group, as daunting as it is, you are made to feel welcome and part of the young carers family because that is exactly what it is – a family.”
Our sincere thanks to both clubs and everyone for all their kind donations. Such community spirit.
If you would like to donate to our Charity and support young carers respite, donate here.
Thanks everyone for a truly special time.