A GROUP of young carers from Hillingdon will be on the Thames next month for a day's sailing on Volharding, a restored 120-year-old Dutch sailing barge.
The charity-funded Volharding Project was set up to provide sailing opportunities for disadvantaged young people.
Volharding has worked with young carers many times in the past. These are people under 18 who care for someone else, often a family member, who is disabled, ill or suffering from alcohol or drug abuse.
The care they may have to provide can be domestic (including looking after younger siblings), emotional, or administering medication.
These huge responsibilities can affect their own health. Their opportunities for socialising and recreation can be severely limited, resulting in a growing sense of isolation and decline in their own sense of self-worth.
Their education may suffer and they may even endure bullying at school through being 'different' to everyone else.
During the trips the young people have the chance to learn about and take part in sailing the ship, to experience the river from a different and exhilarating perspective.