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Four members of the College's Young Carers Group have been celebrating completing a six-week Buddy training programme.

The College's Young Carers champion Ms Blackmore has spent the past academic year working with Mrs McMahon, a counsellor and therapeutic teacher, setting up a group for young carers in the College.

"Four students took part in the six-week buddy training programme which provided them with the skills and understanding to support other young carers in the school," explained Ms Blackmore.

On 13 January 2015 Emma Crowther, a Plymouth City Council Commissioning Officer, came to the College to meet the young carers and present them with their certificates.

"It really helps to know you're not the only one"

"Mrs Crowther was taken through the school's journey from our introduction to the Who Cares? project to where the school currently are with the development of the Young Carers Group and the current work we are involved in with the production of training materials."

Mrs Crowther said she thought the project was "fantastic"

"It's been a pleasure to meet your students.

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"I think it's a really creative and forward-thinking idea and sets a real example for what can be done for young carers."

Sommer, who is a Year 13 student, was one of the students who completed the buddy training, she thinks the Young Carers Group is a good idea.

"It raises awareness of the needs of young carers and is a good way for us to share our experiences - it really helps to know you're not the only one."

Sam, who is in Year 12, agreed.

"It's very effective - there was no group like it before.

"It enables young carers to come forward and be recognised and get support.

"I'm looking forward to the group growing - I think it should expand.

"We didn't realise how many young carers there were just in our school until the group was set up."

There are now 15 members of the group who have a variety of activities arranged for them such as pamper evenings, DVD and popcorn evenings, games nights and ice skating trips.

The group now has its own dedicated room in the College which students can use at break and lunch times and at the end of the school day.

"This room was decorated by the students themselves and made into a friendly and welcoming space for them all to use," said Ms Blackmore.

"The group is also starting to offer a homework club, led by Sixth form students, once a week to provide students with time and space to complete their homework."


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