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Festive fun for young carers

Jamie Dawson and (below) Louise Ponyer who were at the young carers party.

Jamie Dawson and (below) Louise Ponyer who were at the young carers party.

For most of us Christmas and New Year are a time to relax and enjoy ourselves in the company of our family.

But for dozens of youngsters across Blackpool the festive season means caring for loved ones, with carefree days playing with new toys far to the back of their mind.

Among them is 10-year-old Jamie Dawson, who helps her parents to care for her little sister Lilly, five.

Lilly suffers from autism and learning difficulties, which can make Christmas a challenging time of year for her caring sister.

Jamie, from Boscombe Road, South Shore, said: “Sometimes I start crying because I can’t help, it’s just really difficult.

“I help my mum with her by doing her medicine and getting her dressed in the morning.”

However, Blackpool Carers’ Centre allowed around 70 youngsters aged between five and 16 who are registered as carers in the resort some vital respite by hosting a Christmas party for them.

Fourteen-year-old Louise Poyner, from Ashfield Road, Bispham, cares for her father - a stroke and heart attack victim.

She said: “Caring is just everyday life for me now but it’s good here because they know what you’re going through.”

Michelle Smith, the centre’s chief officer, said: “For many of these young people Christmas day was no different to any other day.

“The party was a great way for our young carers to relax with heir friends and just be children.

“We’re very grateful to the many individuals, businesses and groups that provided presents to make it even more special.”

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