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Council funding cuts in Somerset could affect Young Carers' support service

Somerset Council's funding cuts could affect some of the county's most vulnerable young people. Credit: ITV West Country

Somerset County Council could reduce funding for its Young Carers' Service.

The Council currently give £241,000 to the project which offers respite, support and advice to young people caring for family members.

Councillors have been scrutinising proposals ahead of a full cabinet meeting today (Wednesday 12 September).

The Young Carers' Service provides days out, support and advice to young people who care for family members on a daily basis. Credit: ITV West Country

Leader of the Council, David Fothergill, announced earlier this month that financial cuts were necessary as they are "at the very sharp end of austerity."

Now one of the areas under threat is the Young Carers' Service, which offers a lifeline for young people who care for relatives on a daily basis.

Beth Lewis cared for her father who suffered from severe depression and she relied on the project to give her some relief.

She says:

When you have a parent with mental health problems and you yourself have mental health problems, you need someone on the outside looking in and making sure everything is okay. I think without the adults there looking after me I probably would have killed myself.

– Beth Lewis, young carer

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16-year-old Immy and her younger brother Bassi also care for their mother, who has Multiple Sclerosis.

Bassi says that as a result of the Young Carers' Service, "I can come home from school and have a couple of hours to think about myself sometimes."

Their mother says, "It means they get to do stuff that every other child can do with their Mum and Dad but they are doing it with an organised group and they are all together, and doing experiences that I can't give them."

Somerset County Council is planning to save £15 million over the next 18 months.