Young Carers Weekend

September, 2016

I’ve just got home from leading a weekend on the boats for a group of Young Carers. What a fantastic group of youngsters!

We met up on Friday evening, and soon set out towards King’s Langley. There wasn’t much daylight left, so we only got as far as the playing field, but this gave us the chance to go and play on the swings and roundabouts, and play around on the field. The fact that it was getting dark made it more fun rather than less!

Everyone managed to get some sleep, despite the atmosphere in the Young Carer’s end of the boat being a bit like a ‘sleep-over’, and all were up fairly bright and early on Saturday morning. Along to Cassiobury Park for more games, then a visit to Cassiobury Rare Breeds Farm – much enjoyed by all. Then boating on down to Rickmansworth Aquadrome, (for an evening walk in the dark) and an early night – the Young Carers took themselves off to bed before 10.00.

Sunday morning saw us on a visit to Rickmansworth Waterways Trust, where it was incredible to see how the boaters used to live whilst carrying the raw materials and goods for the start of the Industrial Revolution. Then the return trip to Hemel.

Travelling on the boat was much enhanced by cards, Articulate, Connect 4, music, dance, chat and watching the world go by. There was a constant lively buzz of fun and enjoyment, with frequent laughter and merriment.

As ever on a Waterways Experiences run trip, we ate extremely well – cooked breakfasts, snack lunches and substantial evening meals, enhanced with cake, biscuits and fruit at regular intervals.

It was a pleasure to help out on this trip with such an amazing group of young people. Many thanks to Marion Roberts, Jim Burgoyne and Brian Johnston for their help on the trip, and to Alice Walters for getting it all organised. Many thanks to the Graham Rowlandson Trust for funding the trip. And a really big heartfelt thanks too to the Young Carers that came on the trip – you really made it a great weekend, and I’m glad that you had such a good time.

John Bennett