Gateway Stars is a group of Young Carers who live in Sunderland or North Durham.
At the moment we have 7 young people who attend who look after a sibling who already attends Gateway Northeast.
The group has been running for 1 year in December 2016 and the group decided they wanted to spend some time away from home and their caring roles.
We trialled a sleepover on a weekend in December 2016 as some of the young people haven’t spent time away from home before. This activity was a success in that 6 out of 7 attended and become a close group.
The group is young person led and they decided on London for one night to see a show and the sights of London.
The group decided what they wanted to do and we did it we managed to secure some funding to enjoy a weekend away and free from any worry and stress that been a young carer can cause.
We spent months planning what we were going to do and see.
5.30am start on the 7th January 2017 was hard for the young people as they all love their beds but were very excited, the chance to travel on a train was amazing as some of the young people haven’t even left the North East.
The young people were so well behaved and enjoying every minute.
As we arrived at the hotel ‘The President Hotel’ in Russell Square one of the young people ‘oh Becky man they have soap.. Pause ….. in a packet’ for Becky our Project Manager and who set this group up it was touching to see that a little thing like soap made it magic for that Young Carer.
The hotel was 3 star and to these guys it was like they were in the Ritz hotel.
Unfortunately we didn’t manage to see a west end show musical due to the cost as it was in fact almost £1000 this would of took us over the allotted amount given.
While in London the young people enjoyed a walk round seeing lots sights including platform 9 ¾ in Kings Cross, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, M&M World, Harrods, London Eye including 4D experience, Madam Tussauds, watched magic act, experienced London Taxi and Tubes, learnt map skills , Houses of Parliament, London Bridge, walked through the park communication skills , how to be safe on the streets, looking after each other, how to be kind to others and help others.
On the Saturday night while having a meal at Rainforest Café the young people were discussing how many homeless people they were and decided they wanted to help the group came up with the idea to buy some chocolate they understood this wouldn’t last long for someone but they hoped they could help someone and bring some cheer to there lives.
Sunday morning we had a lovely full English breakfast and we set out for the day and first thing we met Victor who has lived the streets for years. He was overwhelmed by the young people giving him a bar of chocolate. (See photo below)
Over all this group is amazing of always thinking of others while on a break from there caring roles
I wish this group would expand and more amazing young people. Who are simply our ‘Gateway Stars’