Some children aren’t able to enjoy the simple things many children take for granted, because they are caring for someone in their family who is ill or disabled. With so many adult responsibilities, young carers often miss out on opportunities that other children have to play and learn. Many struggle educationally and are often bullied for being ‘different’. They can become isolated, with no relief from the pressures at home. Our aim is to provide respite from the burden of these responsibilities, to make dedicated time for children to just be children, to focus on themselves and have fun with people their own age whilst also learning and gaining valuable skills and fitness.
We provide half day camps during the school holidays for children and young people on the Barnardos Young Carers programme where we focus on practical self protection, an introduction to martial arts, confidence building and fun. These camps are usually held in our Honbu Dojo.
We bring our pop-up dojo to community spaces around Liverpool to provide one off or a series of workshops for young carers.
We invite instructors in to our respite camps and workshops to add another level of all round benefit for our students. These partnerships include calming and empowering yoga sessions, transformative mindfulness breaks and traditional Taiko (drumming) full of passion and energy. We want young carers to come away from our sessions with a new-found confidence in themselves, improved mental health, strengthened friendships and support circle and a sense of achievement.
For students who really find joy and fulfilment in our classes during our Young Carers sessions and are able, with support, to commit to becoming a member of our kids or juniors classes we award a limited number of lifetime membership scholarships.