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Lews Castle

Focus on Pointers Young Carers Project

To mark Carers Week, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is highlighting the work of the Pointers Young Carers Project in supporting young carers in Lewis and Harris.

Pointers is a youth centre based in Stornoway run by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.  Various groups and activities are run from the centre, one of which is the Young Carers Project.

There are two Young Carers groups, one for Primary 4 to primary 7 ages and another for secondary aged young people. The groups take referrals for young people from Lewis and Harris and run different groups to suit ages and locations. The aim of Pointers Young Carers is to give the young people a break away from their caring roles, to have fun and relax with other young  carers.  Through attending the groups, it is hoped the users will increase their confidence, self-esteem and mental health wellbeing.  Support is offered to all Young Carers for anything they may need help with.

There is no cost to attending any of the groups. Free transport and a hot meal are provided.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar asked some young carers who attend the group to explain why it is important to them.

“The young carers group is very important to me as it gives me a safe place to go and relax which was especially good when it came to the years of sitting my exams it meant that there was a nice and quiet place to study. Young carers was also very important to me as if I am having a hard time whether it be with school or at home I always knew there would be someone there willing to listen to what I had to say.”

“I really enjoy the group and it’s nice to meet with other kids who have a sibling with additional needs.”

“There are lots of activities to do and make new friends.”

“I like the opportunities and activities we get up to, the chef today has taken the time to cook with us which was really nice and I guess more time to be with your friends and time for yourself.”

“It is important because it gets me out of the house for a few hours and it’s fun.”

“The Carers group is important to me because it allows me to be me and also gives me a break in the role of helping with my brother.”

Cllr Paul Steele, Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said:

“The role young people in the Western Isles play in supporting the care of family members is incredible. The work young carers do is amazing but it is important that they get an opportunity to detach from their responsibilities and be kids. The support provided by Pointers through the young carers group is excellent and gives an opportunity for young carers to socialise, relax and take a break from their caring duties. Carers Week gives us an opportunity to acknowledge the work of carers throughout the Western Isles and on behalf of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, I would like to express my sincere thanks for all that you do.”

If you are unsure whether a young person fits the criteria of being a young carer, or would like more information about the groups, please contact Joanne on 01851 700963 or