Young carers in Hertfordshire turn the tide in Stevenage boat race

A victorious Shannon Hall and Jason George who won one of their races in ‘Army Fire’

A victorious Shannon Hall and Jason George who won one of their races in ‘Army Fire’ - Credit: Archant

Young carers from across the county were cheered on by their families and friends at the weekend when they raced in canoes they had built from scratch.

Youngsters who are supported by Carers in Hertfordshire at the canoe racing event in Stevenage's Fai

Youngsters who are supported by Carers in Hertfordshire at the canoe racing event in Stevenage's Fairlands Valley Park - Credit: Archant

Carers in Hertfordshire hosted its Family Day and Regatta at the sailing lake in Stevenage’s Fairlands Valley Park on Saturday after the charity teamed up with the Turn the Tide Boat Project.

The pioneering scheme based in the town gives young people aged 12 to 18 who are living in challenging situations the opportunity to work as a team and build a dinghy or canoe from scratch.

After completing the eight-week course, young carers who are registered with Carers in Hertfordshire raced against each other while their friends and family enjoyed picnics on the banks of the lake.

Marriotts School student Jason George, from Stevenage, helps look after his mother Paula, who is blind, and his partially blind dad, Abner.


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The 14-year-old, who is one of nine children, won a race in his canoe which he named ‘Army Fire’.

“I painted it khaki green so it’s the same as the army and it flies through the water like fire,” he said.

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His mum Paula said: “Luckily we get a lot of support from school, such as homework club, but days like this give Jason the space just to be himself for a change.”

In addition to the races, younger children took part in a colouring competition and carers left their mark on a graffiti wall by writing messages explaining how their responsibilities make them feel.

For more visit www.carersinherts.org.uk and www.turnthetideboatproject.org.uk.

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