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Support for young Carers

It is difficult and daunting for youngsters who find themselves in the position of carer for a sick or disabled parent who is relying on them for help and support. Just like any adult carer, these youngsters bravely and lovingly look after their adult "charges" and just like their adult counterparts, they too suffer the same exhaustion and weariness and need the kind of "break" which respite care provides.

The Friends of Somerset Young Carers is a registered charity providing respite care and activities for children between the ages 8 and 18 years. The youngsters are taken out for the day for some recreation and relaxation which might include a trip to the bowling alley or the cinema or pantomime. Additionally, counselling and support is available which can include help with transport costs and even professional assistance.

Sadly, Somerset CC is threatening the withdrawal of a £70,000 grant for the "Friends" due to the economic climate so it was especially gratifying that Somerset Masons have been able to contribute some much needed funds.

Quantock Lodge MMM No.749 raised £250 at a recent meeting, it was the first request submitted to Provincial Grand Master of the Mark Degree to be fund matched by the Somerset Mark Benevolent fund.

Admiral Blake Lodge No.4692 raised £1071 at a recent charity night. This was also fund matched by the Craft Province with a further £1000.

The pictures show Dave Attwater Master of Quantock Lodge and Peter Holmes of Admiral Blake presenting cheques to "the Friends" Regional Coordinator Jo Sylvester and Treasurer Tony Hunt. A total of £2571.00 was donated by the Lodges and the Province.

Thanks to Dave Smith, Charity Steward of Quantock Mark for the story and pictures

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