Three young carers have received this month’s Wokingham Borough Mayor’s Roll of Honour awards for outstanding commitment and contributions to the area.
Siblings Rachael (13) and Charlotte Smith (12) were nominated by Phil Hollis from the borough council’s young carers service who said “they are young people of strength and determination”. They come from a large family where both parents have medical conditions as do several of their siblings. Both Rachael and Charlotte support their family in terms of emotional care and being there for their siblings.
Both play an active role in the council’s young carers’ forum, supporting others in the group. They don’t just get involved in the fun activities but take time to support new members. They also played an active role in the Young Carers Awareness Day held earlier this year and even after school handed they handed out flyers to the public and talked to council staff about being a young carer.
Rachael is vice chair of the young carer’s forum and Charlotte created and designed the logo for the group.
Thirteen-year-old Ryan Osborn has also received a Mayor’s Roll of Honour Award. Four years ago Ryan’s mum passed away and he is a carer for his dad. Ryan is a young man who embodies what it is to care for others while also struggling himself at times. He has completed a triathlon to raise money for help for heroes, shaved his head for charity and goes above and beyond to support other students whose families are going through hard times.
Ryan was also nominated by Phil Hollis who said: “Ryan is a young man of deep character and strength who often does not see what he has achieved not only in overcoming his own struggles but in the way he now uses his experiences to support others.”
Shining a spotlight on the young carers
Wokingham Borough Mayor Cllr John Kaiser said: “I am really pleased to shine a spotlight on these young carers. As a young carer it brings additional responsibilities to these young people. Many of them want to help their family. But being a young carer with responsibilities can cause challenges both at home or school and in their social life.
“Charlotte and Rachael are very committed to engaging and working to improve the young carers service not only for themselves but for other young carers. Ryan is a young man who has shown character in the face of adversity. It has been an honour to meet and present them with these awards that they are so deserving of.”
Any borough resident can be nominated for the award. “We are looking for people who make that extra effort for others,” said Cllr Kaiser. “Maybe by fostering, volunteering or being a carer; there are many thousands of such people out there and we need to hear about them. For children and young people, we would like to hear about those who have overcome adversity.”
To nominate somebody, all you have to do is email the mayor’s office at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominations (which can only be made by Wokingham Borough residents) should be no longer than 200 words and set out why the nominee should be considered for the award. For the children’s awards, outstanding achievements in sport or arts will also be considered.
Each month Cllr Kaiser and his deputy mayor Cllr Bill Soane will select worthy winners from those people nominated by members of the public. There will be children’s and adults’ categories and each winner will receive a lapel badge and scroll to mark their achievements.
If you are a young carer or have a child who is you can contact the Wokingham Young Carers Service on (0118) 324 7333.