Family Support | Young carer siblings enjoy well-deserved action-packed holiday

The Royal Caledonian Education Trust has supported growing numbers of children and young people from serving personnel, reservist and veteran families who are caring for either loved ones at home or members of their local community, through the charity’s Young Carers Fund during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Many restrictions put in place over the past eighteen months, as a result of the pandemic, has presented a range of additional considerations for young carers, who have adapted and responded to ensure the needs of loved ones and members of their local community continue to be supported during these unprecedented times.

Having awarded grants to young carers across Scotland over the past eighteen months, the charity reached out to its beneficiaries with an offer of further funding, in partnership with the Scottish Veterans Fund, to enjoy a well-earned break with family having faced considerable, unique challenges during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Molly and Amy McAlpine, who help care for their mum, Dayna, in Helensburgh, used a grant from our Young Carers Fund to purchase a trampoline and scooters last year, to take breaks from their caring responsibilities by getting outdoors for exercise as well as to spend greater amounts of time together having fun with friends.

Having received a grant award, Molly and Amy McApline said:

“We jumped up and down and we were very excited. It meant lots because we bought a trampoline and new scooters. We are out on the trampoline all the time and have so much fun together. Mum and Dad always hear us laughing in the garden and the scooters have helped us get outside more with our friends. Mum smiles a lot when she hears us having fun, which makes us happy too and helps us care for mum better too. We just want to say a huge thank you for helping us smile everyday.”

The girls have given so much in support of their mum and the Royal Caledonian Education Trust wished to recognise their selfless commitment and dedication to support the girls take a well-earned holiday with their mum and dad, to visit family and participate in a range of fun activities in Haggerston during the summer holidays.

Having returned from their holiday, Dayna McAlpine said:

“Support from the Royal Caledonian Education Trust meant Amy and Molly were able to have a carefree holiday and were able to act like children for a week without the added financial stress of us paying for the holiday in the first place. They have consistently told everyone how amazing the holiday was and how great the caravan was too. They had a room each whilst we were away which they both loved, as this is not something that we have at home. They smiled the whole time we were at Haggerston Castle. Due to my brother working at the park, the entertainment team were  familiar to the girls too so this meant they felt like VIP’s.

“The difference the holiday made to myself was incredible. We were able to have a full week away, which is not something we would have managed financially this year due to my illnesses. We were able to have a week at a caravan park which was very carefree and we were able to enjoy a wide range of activities. The holiday park took into account any special requirements that were needed for my mobility issues too and ensured we were always seated at suitable tables to enjoy the entertainment within the park. Seeing the girls faces light up throughout the whole trip away made me feel so much better emotionally too. It did cost us a bit of money but nothing in comparison to what the trip should have cost us, so the support was very much appreciated. 

“The trip to Haggerston was incredible. We enjoyed a wide range of activities and were very fortunate to book horse riding sessions for the girls too. We were unable to do this activity on previous trips so this was really amazing for the girls. Amy’s favourite part of the whole trip was the archery, she took part in this with her Daddy and they both had the best time doing this together. Molly’s favourite thing to do was the horse riding. Iain enjoyed the whole trip, he says the best part was just being away together and being able to enjoy some much needed quality family time. My favourite part of the trip was seeing the excitement on the girls faces every day when we got to take part in the various activities around the park. We especially enjoyed the train ride around the park. 

“My advice to anyone who is enquiring about support from the Royal Caledonian Education Trust would be to go for it. It was honestly so unexpected but we could not be more appreciative of the support. The whole week would not have been possible without the support from the charity and we could not be more grateful.”

The Royal Caledonian Education Trust supports young carers from serving personnel, reservist and veteran families across Scotland, please get in touch with familysupport@rcet.org.uk for further information.