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TYKES given funding to expand service to West Sutherland

By SPP Reporter

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The Young Karers East Sutherland
The Young Karers East Sutherland

GOLSPIE based charity TYKES (The Young Karers East Sutherland), which supports young carers, is celebrating the award of over £53,000 from Children in Need.

The three-year funding package will enable the group to expand its operations to Sutherland’s West Coast.

Manager of Tykes, Myra Clark, said: "We’re over the moon at this award and I’m so grateful for the belief and support Children in Need have in our project."

An outreach worker will now be appointed to cover West Sutherland which has not had a dedicated child carers support scheme for around nine years.

Mrs Clark continued: "Initially this work will be done through contact with schools and other children’s organisations until such time we need space for group working.

"The service will include one-to-one sessions, group work and access to respite breaks – all aimed at reducing the feelings of isolation often experienced by young carers.

Tykes, which was launched in 2005, currently provides group activities, drop-in sessions, and one-to-one sessions along with activities, counselling and support for 71 school-age youngsters in East Sutherland, all of whom have a caring role at home.

Referrals are made through teachers, social workers and health workers or self-referrals.

It costs over £100,000 a year to keep Tykes afloat and the group relies on financial support from a wide range of organisations including charitable trusts, donations and statutory sector grants.

A £270,000 National Lottery Award in 2009 secured the group’s future for five years.

The Tykes office at Duke Street is open from Monday to Thursday 9am - 5pm and on a Friday 9am - 3pm and the charity can be contacted on 01408 633017.

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