Urgent call for carers

VOLUNTEERS are today needed to help the county's population of disabled children have happy social lives.An urgent plea is being issued to potential part-time child carers as part of Share the Care Week – a national initiative aimed at helping disabled children join in activities other children take for grantedSuffolk County Council has announced the number of Suffolk children on the waiting list for a carer has reached 100.

VOLUNTEERS are today needed to help the county's population of disabled children have happy social lives.

An urgent plea is being issued to potential part-time child carers as part of Share the Care Week – a national initiative aimed at helping disabled children join in activities other children take for granted

Suffolk County Council has announced the number of Suffolk children on the waiting list for a carer has reached 100.

And it is asking people to step forward and help with its LINK service – which helps disabled children and their families.

Councillor Tony Lewis, responsible for children and young people, said: "We need people to become aware that giving just a little time can really change people's lives.

"We know that having access to LINK really does change the lives of all involved and we are keen to encourage many more people to come forward to find out how they can help change local peoples lives for the better."

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LINK provides volunteer carers to give breaks to parents. It has 150 carers - helping 176 children - but there are more than 1,000 children registered disabled in the county.

Debbie Lamin, user of LINK, said: "Caring for a severely disabled child is very hard work – it is a 24-hour job.

"The best thing about LINK is it has given us the freedom to be able to do things just for ourselves.

"Volunteers will be more appreciated than you can ever know."

LINK carer Anna Middleton said: "Being a carer is not just worthy or rewarding – it's fun.

"It will change your life too."

For more information on the service call 0800 328 2148 or visit www.suffolkfostering.com/LINK

Share the Care Week runs until Sunday.

Do you care for a disabled child? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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