Student volunteers and young carers who attended Summer Adventures. Photo by Joanna Bowery.

Students treat Devon's young carers to summer adventures

Thirty-three young carers from Devon have been treated to a two week Summer Adventure holiday camp thanks to students from the University of Exeter Students' Guild volunteering group, Community Action.

Summer Adventures ran for two weeks from 1-12 August at the University of Exeter's Streatham Campus.

Organised and run by 21 student volunteers, the day camp gave young carers a break from the responsibilities they cope with in their daily lives and a chance to meet and befriend other children in similar situations.

The young carers, aged eight to 12, took part in a wide range of activities, from arts and crafts to raft building and day trips to the beach and countryside.

Summer Adventures cost £8,000 to run and the funding was generated by a £5,449 contribution from RAG, the University of Exeter Students' Guild fundraising group, donations from the Exeter Respect Festival and a Soul Choir night at Mama Stones.

“We've been working hard to plan an exciting project to give these inspirational individuals a break from their everyday routine,” said Kirstie Darling, Summer Projects Manager. “It really wouldn't be possible without the dedication and enthusiasm of our fantastic team.”

“Having been a volunteer on Summer Adventures last year, I couldn't wait to be involved again in such a wonderful project that gives a large number of young carers in Exeter and the surrounding areas a chance to have a break from day-to-day life,” said Mark Wiggins, who also manages Summer Adventures.

The University of Exeter has the highest level of student engagement in the UK, through clubs and societies, volunteering, Students’ Guild elections and even helping to run the University. Exeter students benefit the local community by contributing over 12,000 hours of volunteering a year through Community Action.

“This project is an important part of what the University of Exeter Students’ Guild Activities and Volunteering Unit is all about,” added Sara Bennett, Activities and Volunteering Manager at the University of Exeter Students’ Guild. “The volunteers do a fantastic job. As well as having a great time, the young people also make friends, develop social skills, have respite from their usual routine, form bonds with the volunteers and are given the chance to relax, to have fun and to play.”

Date: 15 August 2011

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