THEY care for sick and disabled parents, and for little brothers and sisters without complaint whilst dealing with their own complicated lives - they truly are the unsung heroes of Solihull.
But last Friday and despite torrential weather, a special barbecue was held to honour the hard work and dedication of Solihull’s army of young carers.
Guest of honour, the mayor of Solihull Councillor Ian Courts, spoke passionately for their cause.
“They do a fantastic job,” he said. “In this day and age when we never think that children are doing enough we have youngsters here who are leading the way, showing responsibility, caring and having consideration to others.”
A census in 2004 put the number of Solihull young carers at 674 - some as young as five years-old - a number that has surely grown in 2010, and that excludes youngsters caring for adults with drug or drink addiction.
“Nationally, one in ten young people are believed to be carers and they are saving a massive amount of money for the public purse and it is important that we spend enough money to give them what they need for the benefit of the whole community, said Coun Courts.
Jamie Stevens is the co-ordinator of Solihull Young Carers the borough’s support organisation for the youngsters. Their remit, backed by big hearted St Alphege Rotarians who provide some money, transport and practical help, is to offer the carers a break and give them the chance to be children again.
“This is the most fulfilling job I have ever had,” he said.
“It’s great to see the Mayor here because we all know that there are spending cuts on the way and it is important to keep young carers high on the agenda because these people do a fantastic job.”
If you are a young carer or know of one, Solihull Young Carers can be contacted on 0121 788 1143 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org.