Last month, the YC team treated some Young Adult Carers aged 17-24 (YACs) to a night of bowling at the Longwell Green complex in Bristol. Luckily, there were just enough of us to squeeze into our minibus, which was donated to us by The Wheels Project a year ago. Steve (the Young Carers Officer) was our driver for the evening and ensured the journey there was almost as fun as the actual event!
At Longwell Green, we enjoyed a drink and a quick sit down before heading off to the lanes. We started bowling and within ten minutes Cherie had established that she was the strike queen getting two strikes in her first two turns. Steve and Joe were in fierce competition; as the only two males there they felt they had something to prove!
While waiting for their turns, some of our YACs chatted about their involvement with our service, which was interesting to listen to. Deeanna said she’s been with our service for nearly ten years, which astonished both her and the staff members. Others have said they’ve spent the best part of their teen years with us, which made us feel old, but also quite encouraged that we have supported these YACs during a difficult time in their lives. Hopefully, our help has enabled them to make good choices about their future and recognise the importance of their own wellbeing.
It was during our second game that the record-breaking began. Somehow, Steve managed to get 150 points, getting himself onto that week’s leader-board. I’ve never seen him jump so high and run so fast to a desk before, but that’s how excited he was to get such a high score! Then all of a sudden we realised that with 126 points, Leeanne had made it onto the junior leader-board. It’s pretty cool to have two members of our YC group feature on the top scoreboard!
Before heading home we got to play on the arcade games. Lindsey thrashed me at Mario Kart while Joe and the others played air hockey. It was amazing to see that even a simple thing like playing arcade games with friends means so much to our YACs. They appreciate much more how difficult and complex caring for someone else can be, so I think they benefit even more from our service and the chance to get away from it all.
The minibus ride home was great and still full of the energy and excitement we’d had throughout the evening. It was a great evening enjoyed by all, and I can’t wait for the next YAC outing!