St Helens Young Carers Centre is to receive a £25,000 Community Award from the Freemasons following an unprecedented public vote.
The charity was one of 8 to be nominated by Freemasons in West Lancashire, with local people voting to decide the level of their Award. They were part of 178,801 people who voted across England and Wales.
The Community Awards are a major part of Freemasonry’s 300th anniversary celebrations.
Lorraine Pennington, Head of Young Carers at St Helens Carers Centre said: “The grant of £25,000 which we have been awarded following the public vote is hugely important to our service; it will enable us to support more Young Carers in St Helens who look after a family member who have a disability, mental ill health condition or a substance mis-use problem. We are very grateful to all of those who took the trouble to support us, thank you”.
The Masonic Charitable Foundation obtains all of its funding from Freemasons, their families and friends. It is estimated that half of Freemasonry’s total charitable expenditure of over £33m goes to charities that help people in communities across the country.
Mr James A Harrison – Provincial Grand Master from West Lancashire Freemasons said: “We are delighted so many people voted in West Lancashire. St Helens Young Carers Centre was one of 8 charities nominated by local Freemasons and I know they will use their £25,000 grant to continue with their outstanding work.”
About St Helens Carers Centre
“We support Young Carer aged 6 – 18 years, we currently have over 515 Young people accessing our services. Our Young Carers Centre is located in the heart of St Helens. It is a safe, relaxing and friendly environment/hub; a place which is easily accessible, giving Young Carers a sense of belonging and purpose within their community. The young people we support care for a family member who due to an illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction (alcohol/drugs) could not cope without their support. They provide practical & emotional support, with some as young as 6 providing personal care to a parent. Without our support, most young carers would miss out on the opportunities that should be available to all children. They can face daily challenges including living in poverty, becoming socially isolated, falling behind at school; as a result they may themselves become withdrawn, depressed, self-harm, lack confidence and have no aspirations.”
“Our aim is for them to realise that they have choices when deciding which pathway to take in life, a future ahead that can be viewed with optimism and excitement, not full of constraints. We also want to give them their childhood back. Our work includes intensive family work, 1:1 emotional support, regular respite/residential trips, training/talk sessions, advocacy, emergency planning, peer support, late night/school drop in etc. We work to improve their social life, education & health, preventing families from reaching crisis.”