It was a sea of red and white in Saltford this weekend as the annual Saltford Santa Dash took place. This year saw a huge host of Santas and mini-Santas run a 5 mile fun-run through the beautiful lanes of Saltford, all to raise money for charity. This year, the proceeds were halved between Time2Share and the Carers’ Centre.
The mini-Santas set off at 10am after a wonderful welcome from Alex Lovell, presenter of BBC Points West. It was adorable and even heart-warming to see so many young people running to support charities which help other children going through a difficult time. Running a mile in December isn’t easy for anyone but the children were amazing and there were a lot of proud parents cheering them on all the way!
Next was the adult Santa race which saw a host of Santas run a figure-of-eight course through the picturesque lanes of Saltford. There was such a great atmosphere at the event, with many Santas laughing the whole way. This was helped by the fantastic marshals and helpers, who were on hand with hot drinks, light refreshments and a smile for everyone taking part.
With the money raised from the Dash, the Carers’ Centre can continue providing support, advice and breaks for unpaid carers in the BANES area. We support many carers from Saltford, so the support is even closer to home than many events. We are extremely thankful that organisers of the Dash chose to support our charity and we would like to thank every single Santa that ran – you’re amazing!
Last night was my first experience of our ‘Arts Award’ – an after-school club for young carers held in our very own Woodlands building. We run two arts award clubs on a fortnightly basis, one for children aged 5-11 and one for young adult carers aged 14-17. This gives young carers the chance to get away from their caring role and enjoy a creative space with other kids who are just like them.
First up was a manic half hour where the children worked on their art books; some drew pictures while others stuck in photos. That sounds simple enough, but with seven of them all working on different things and shouting at each other it got hectic pretty fast! Then we had a quick snack before delving into our main activity: a photo quiz.
Steve (our young carers’ officer) had taken pictures of objects around our Woodlands building and the kids had to take exactly the same pictures, trying to copy the original image as close as possible. Every single detail had to match, which was hard to achieve when half of them were bouncing around the place! It really challenged our young carers to find the objects, achieve the right angle and stand still enough to take a non-blurry pic. Finally, we had a quick run through of the pictures, chose a winner, and the kids went home happy, leaving us with the clearing up!
Despite the mayhem had such a fun time, and the children clearly got a lot out of their activities – it’s so great to put a smile on the faces of young children going through a really hard time. Can’t wait till the next one!
The Carers’ Centre is in the process of buying our building in Bath, ‘Woodlands’.
Carers give up their time and energy to look after friends and family who can’t manage on their own. This can be tiring, stressful and lonely. We believe that no one should care alone. We want a future where every carer can find a place of support here with us.
Carers like Sophie, 10, a young carer whose dedication to her caring role makes wise beyond her years. As a young carer, she helps to look after her 8-year-old brother Ben, who has Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome, a developmental disorder.
‘He’s cheeky and lovely,’ says Sophie. ‘I wouldn’t swap him for any other brother!’ Ben often tells Sophie: “I love you more than the highest mountain in the world.”
But it’s not easy for Sophie. Ben’s condition means that he’s often awake, which makes it hard for Sophie to get enough sleep. His needs also take up much of their mum’s time, so Sophie doesn’t often get to enjoy mother-daughter time.
Woodlands is a place for Sophie and other children like her to play, have fun and enjoy their childhood. She loves going on the young carers’ trips and activities as she says they help her to relax and not worry as much. Keeping the building will provide a dedicated space for young carers’ activities indoors and outdoors.