Wigan charity for young carers mingles with celebrities at glamorous event

The team from Wigan and Leigh Young Carers in London
The team from Wigan and Leigh Young Carers in London

Young carers and those who help them rubbed shoulders with celebrities including the scourge of reality TV contestants at an event in London.

Wigan and Leigh Young Carers got to meet feared X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent judge Simon Cowell and actor John Michie, best known for his role in Taggart, at The Savoy in the capital city.

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The organisation was attending The Health Lottery Tea Party which was hosted by Mr Cowell and celebrates groups across Britain which help make the places they live even better.

The event marked the milestone of £100m being raised through The Health Lottery and celebrated the work of thousands of grass-roots good causes funded by the lottery to close health inequalities.

The organisation from the borough was invited due to the success of project Making that Change, which helps Wiganers aged 14 to 24 who provide unpaid care for a family member.

Group leader Amanda Rogerson, who was photographed with the A-list names at the lavish tea party, spoke of her pride at being a volunteer for the charity.

She said: “I had the privilege of representing Wigan and Leigh Young Carers at the Health Lottery afternoon tea to celebrate raising £100m pounds for charities in the community including the one I have loved to support on a voluntary basis for the last five years.

“Not only have I been able to enjoy the feeling of being a part of our community supporting young children that give everything to those they love I have watched them grow and develop into beautiful strong individuals. I couldn’t be prouder of the children and friends I volunteer with. It changes my life too and my children.

"I aim to teach them that life is full of different situations that I hope they will not have to face.”

Making that Change has supported more than 120 people in the borough and provides fortnightly and monthly respite groups for young carers, one-off activities and training and development programmes.

Support worker Nicola Wood and young adult carer Josh Smith also went down to London as part of the Wigan delegation.

Wigan and Leigh Young Carers was one of more than 50 charities which attended along with other supporters of The Health Lottery.

Making that Change is funded by the People’s Health Trust, with money coming from players of The Health Lottery in the North West.

John Hume, chief executive, said: “It was important to celebrate the amazing work local groups are doing in their neighbourhoods, which wouldn’t have been possible without this money.”

Wigan and Leigh Young Carers is also desperately searching for volunteer drivers to help its after-school activities. Anyone interested ring 01942 679352, email project manager Paul Carroll at info@walyc.org.uk or visit www.walyc.org.uk