Photo of young carers from Lewisham on a holiday club supported by Phoenix Community Housing
Photo of Chantelle Turner, Phoenix Community Housing resident and Young Carers Coordinator at Carers Lewisham
Chantelle Turner
Tuesday 8th October 2019 - 11:39

No one knows better than residents what their community needs

Since 2016 Phoenix Community Housing has funded holiday clubs for young carers because, each year, our tenants vote in large numbers for the project. Chantelle Turner, from Carers Lewisham, explains why this community investment makes a difference.

Community Chest applications for 2020/21 are now open. Download the application form to apply for grants worth up to £20,000 here.

The work we do at Young Carers is so important. You’d expect me to say that, as the Young Carers Coordinator at Carers Lewisham.

But it’s true: I see it every day. And I know it as someone who was a registered young carer from the age of eight.

That’s why I’m so proud to work with young carers – and why I’m proud my housing association is helping to support young carers in my community.

It’s so important that we teach both children and adults about what a young carer is and what they do. Not understanding it means that some young carers find themselves bullied at school. At other times they have to leave school early, or get there late, as they have to be home to care for a family or friend.

Parents may feel upset or overwhelmed their child isn’t doing the things that others their age are doing. They can also feel guilt or worry about the responsibilities their child is taking on.

Giving young carers a break from this makes a world of difference. It lets them be themselves for a little while.

The funding Phoenix’s Community Chest gives, voted for by tenants year on year, makes such a big difference.

It funds holiday clubs that offer young carers a chance to have time to themselves and have a break from their responsibilities. They meet other people in similar situations, helping them feel like they aren’t alone and that others may be experiencing the same difficulties they have.

Many of our young carers can’t wait to see the friends they’ve made at our holiday clubs when they are due to meet up again.

I think the Community Chest is amazing. It gives organisations the chance to get more involved with the community, spread awareness of what they’re doing, and to make a real difference.

As a Phoenix tenant myself, I think the Community Chest brings the community together, no matter the age, background or life situation. And as both a tenant and working with an organisation that receives funding, I think it’s a good way to make sure that the projects most in need and most important to the community are the ones that get funded.