Young carers in Sunderland produce book of pictures, prose and poetry

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YOUNG carers are picking up their pens to help their peers.

Rainbows and Rollercoasters is a collection of stories, pictures and poetry put together by youngsters from Sunderland.

The title was launched at a garden party at Sunderland Carers’ Centre in Thompson Park.

TV agony aunt Denise Robertson, the centre’s patron, inspired them to put pen to paper when they told her they were fed-up of the negative images of young carers on television.

She said: “Sunderland Carers’ Centre has a well-deserved nationwide reputation for excellence and their young carers are no exception.

“I’m delighted they have committed their experiences to print in a book that I know will be helpful to young carers everywhere. It was a pleasure to meet with them and help the book get under way.

“They are a credit to their families and the city.” The book – which was funded by the Carers’ Trust and Comic Relief – aims to recognise the positive things young carers do and the support they receive from Sunderland Carers’ Centre.

Laura Smith, 12, said: “I really enjoyed making the book. It was a whole new experience for me. The book will help members of the public understand young carers and other young people can find out where to get help and support if they are young carers too.”

NHS body the Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has already snapped up 5,000 copies of the book to hand out to GP practices across the city. Dr Raj Bethapudi, clinical lead for Carers Improvement at Sunderland CCG, said “This is an awe-inspiring, innovative creation for young carers by young carers.

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