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Young Carers Need Extra Help

9 May, 2007


Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Children and Young People, West Belfast MLA Sue Ramsey has backed calls by the children's charity Princess Royal Trust for Carers, for an urgent inquiry into the plight of children caring for disabled relatives .The call comes after the death of a 13-year-old girl who died from an overdose of morphine.

Ms Ramsey said:

"The PRT for Carers have said that of thousands of children are struggling with little or no help to provide care for ill or elderly relatives and that many were finding it very hard to cope with heavy responsibilities placed on them.

"The case highlighted by the charity of 13-year-old Deanne Asamoah from Milton Keynes, is heartbreaking. Deanne fell into a coma and died after swallowing seven morphine tablets three days after her 13th birthday. She had been looking after her terminally ill mother for four years.

"It totally unfair that children who are caring for a sick relative are not receiving the support and back up they may need, particularly help in dealing with the stresses placed on them. There needs to be an urgent review of what level of support there is for young carers here and the need to ensure that they are fully informed of the help and services that are currently available.

"I would appeal to anyone who knows of a young person who is caring for a family member to get them to go and seek advice on whether they can get help from the statuary bodies or voluntary sector they may not be presently aware of. There are many advice centres, community and voluntary groups out there doing great work in this field and have helped countless numbers of people." ENDS

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