Opening Ceremony of the new Penny Collard Centre for Coventry Young Carers’

The official opening of the centre for Young Carers in Coventry took place on the 23rd February 2018. We have been looking for a suitable building to house our young carers’ services for a number of years and we have finally found one that is perfect. Based within the city centre we will have sole use of this building which is next to the historic Almshouses in Coventry and in part of a conservation area.

The opening ceremony was attended by our chief guest David H Bradnock MBE JP DL FBHI, HM Deputy Lieutenant for the West Midlands, Chairman & Lieutenancy Ambassador for Solihull.

We were also delighted to welcome the Leader of Coventry City Council, Councillor George Duggins and the Deputy Lord Mayor Councillor John Blundell.

The centre will enable us to continue to support the 1,400 young carers we are already in touch with and give us the opportunity to work with many more young carers we are identifying through our work with 82 schools in Coventry.

“I am delighted that a long held dream has actually come to fruition. We know only too well the impact caring can have on family carers and none more so than Young Carers, so this new centre will help us to alleviate some of that stress for Young Carers and build resilience.” Penny Collard MBE – CEO Carers Trust Heart of England.

The centre has been refurbished and modernised so that we can offer a wide range of support to young carers with a specially adapted kitchen where they can enhance their cooking skills and enjoy the results. There will be a range of equipment including laptops and iPads so that they can learn and play and do their homework which may not be possible for them at home.

There will be an emphasis on supporting the young carers to make friends (they are often isolated because of their caring role) and enjoying activities with other young people in a similar position.

During the daytime, while the Young Carers are at school, the centre will be used for meetings and training adult carers. Last year we supported 450 adult carers with training in skills to help them in their caring role and reduce their stress.

During the evenings it will be used as a youth club for teenagers with disabilities to complement our STARS club service for children with disabilities. Future plans for the centre include a drop in for people with disabilities and their carers to respond to the need for short term breaks for carers.

“It’s an amazing space and we will be able to do so much more than we did at the old building and it’s all on one level, so more accessible too. We can’t wait for you to see it”. Mark Graham – Young Carers Family Information, Advice and Support Worker.

Young carers are people aged between 5 and 18 years old who have a responsibility for looking after or helping someone else to look after a person who has a disability, a long term illness, mental health illness, Autism/ADHD or someone addicted to drugs or alcohol. That person could be your mum, dad, brother, sister, grandparent or even a close friend or neighbour.

As a young carer you may help out by going shopping, cooking, cleaning, making sure the person you care for takes their medicine, talking and listening to them when they are not very happy, look after brothers and sisters or anything else that helps out at home.

Carers Trust Heart of England can help young carers by listening to them when they need to talk, giving them information and advice and support, arrange trips and activities to give them a break from your caring responsibilities and support you through any troubles you may have in school.

If you are a young carer looking after a family member you can contact The Coventry Young Carers Services on 024 7610 1040
or visit our website: for more information.