A primary school in Dundee will host the launch this Tuesday (14 June) of an exciting new Scottish initiative aimed at helping young carers.
Funded by the Scottish Government and created by The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, Eryc and Trayc are cartoon characters who are young carers and who have their own website, www.erycandtrayc.com Through the website, children can find out what young carers do, what challenges they face and where to get further help and support.
Matthew Turnbull [Age] from Hillside Primary School in Dundee designed the original Eryc and Trayc. Matthew took part in a nation-wide competition organised by The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, asking primary school children what they thought young carers would look like. Matthew’s winning drawings were turned into professional cartoon characters.
Michael Matheson, the Minister for Public Health, and Lord of the Rings star Billy Boyd will be joining Head Teacher Jacquelyn Campbell at Hillside Primary School to do the official ‘switch on’ of the website and a short animated children’s film, which takes place during Carers Week 2011*.
The animated film is all about Eryc and Trayc’s lives and the challenges they face. The voiceover for the film was provided by Billy Boyd. Primary schools from all over Scotland have been invited to watch the film on 14 June at 11am.
There are an estimated 100,000 young carers in Scotland**, roughly one in ten of the school population. Young carers are children and young people who take on caring roles and responsibilities that are usually associated with adults. As a result they often miss out on schooling and time with their friends.
Billy Boyd said: “I was delighted to provide a ‘voice’ for Scotland’s young carers. So many children of this age miss out on schooling and enjoying time with friends because they are caring for someone who can’t manage without their support. I am confident that the new film and website about young carers will raise awareness of the issue, and show teachers and young carers where they can get further help.”
Public Health Minister Michael Matheson added: “Young carers face a number of challenges in their day to day lives, which is why this initiative is so important. Eryc and Trayc will help raise the profile of young carers, and to remove the stigma around asking for help. With the support of the Scottish Government and a famous face in the shape of Billy Boyd, I’m sure these new characters will be a hit with young carers around Scotland.”
Louise Morgan, Young Carers Services Development Manager for The Princess Royal Trust for Carers in Scotland, said: “This campaign is specifically aimed at very young carers who may not know that there is help and support out there and to help them understand what we mean when we are talking about the issues of being a carer.”
Dundee City Council Education Convener Liz Fordyce said: “This is an exciting day for Hillside and I am delighted that pupils’ creativity will be used in an important campaign for children across Scotland. I am delighted that pupils at Hillside have helped shape the characters that will feature on this new resource.”
For further information, please contact Emma Baird on 0141 285 7938/07791 230261 or email: email@example.com
You are invited to the launch of Eryc and Trayc at Hillside Primary School, Denoon terrace, Dundee DD2 2DH on 14 June at 11.20am. There will be opportunities to interview the Minister for Public Health Michael Matheson, Billy Boyd, Louise Morgan and others, as well as taking photographs of the Minister and Billy with cardboard cut-out Eryc and Trayc figures.
If you would like to come along or if you would like photographs after the event, please contact Emma Baird on 0141 285 7938/07791 230261 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. The Princess Royal Trust for Carers is the largest provider of comprehensive carers support services in the UK. Through its unique network of 144 independently managed Carers' Centres, 89 young carers’ services and interactive websites, www.carers.org and www.youngcarers.net, The Trust currently provides quality information, advice and support services to more than 424,000 carers, including approximately 28,500 young carers.
2. In Scotland, The Princess Royal Trust for Carers currently helps more than 49,000 adult and more than 4,000 young carers in Scotland to cope with their caring role through a network of 29 Carers’ Centres and 24 young carers’ services.
3. The characters of Eryc and Trayc were designed by Fruitful Advertising: 01896 824055; www.fruitfuladvertising.com
* Carers Week takes place from 13-19 June and is a partnership of nine national charities: Age UK, Carers UK, Counsel and Care, Crossroads Care, Dementia UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, MS Society, Parkinson’s UK and The Princess Royal Trust for Carers.
The week highlights and celebrates the incredible contribution that carers make, sharing the challenges overcome as well as those still being faced. It also campaigns for greater support and recognition for carers.
** Getting it Right for Young Carers, The Scottish Government’s national strategy for young carers: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2010/07/23153853/0