Young Harrogate Carers Take an Adventure Break on the Sea

A group of young carers from Harrogate have been given the opportunity for a well deserved break from the responsibilities of caring for vulnerable family members, thanks to charities The Carers’ Resource OYT North.

The group of 11 boys, aged between 12 and 17 all provide essential care for family members with a variety of needs and thanks to funding from the Charles and Elsie Sykes Trust they set sail aboard James Cook, OYT North’s specially designed yacht and enjoyed a weekend voyage along the north-east coast.

Under the expert tuition of OYT North’s Skipper Grace Metcalfe the boys became part of the working crew onboard and learnt how to navigate, set the sails and take the helm whilst taking responsibility for all the cooking and cleaning as well as developing their personal skills, such as team work, leadership, communication and problem solving.

Commenting on the voyage Fiona Demain, Young Carer Activities Co-ordinator at The Carers’ Resource said, “Due to their caring role at home these boys have little chance to enjoy the more carefree aspects of growing up and we’re always looking at new and exciting ways to give them a break and help their personal development.

“When one of our young carers told us about a brilliant sailing voyage he had undertaken with the Tall Ships we investigated further, and discovered the amazing opportunities that a sailing trip with OYT North could offer.”

“It was a brilliant experience for all the boys and they embraced every challenge that this unique opportunity threw at them. Being able to see them in this environment and deal with the alien feeling of being in a confined space, carrying out a challenging role on the open sea was fantastic and we’ll certainly be looking to make a return trip.”

Steve Lennon, General Manager at OYT North said, “It’s estimated that there are over 700,000 young carers in the UK and charities like Carers’ Resource provide these deserving young people with essential respite breaks.

“We’re dedicated to providing young people with limited opportunities the chance to learn new skills, build confidence and broaden their horizons. The boys certainly enjoyed the experience and whilst it was hard work, they left exhilarated and full of stories that we hope they will share with their family and friends.

“As well as the sailing they were also wowed by the rare opportunity to stargaze away from the urban orange glow whilst we were anchored in Runswick Bay near Whitby, and were fortunate enough to see the International Space Station go over which was a real thrill for them.”

The Carers’ Resource is an independent charity covering the Yorkshire districts of Harrogate, Craven Bradford and Airedale and provide young carers with vital mentoring support, trips and activities and weekly youth clubs. For further information about The Carers’ Resource visit

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