THE vital role of young people in looking after elderly or vulnerable friends or family members across Helensburgh and Lomond was celebrated at a special show at the Victoria Halls.

The Helensburgh and Lomond Young Carers organisation put on a one-off performance of ‘A Young Carer’s Dream’ – a production they’ve put together themselves over several months at drama workshops put on by their ‘parent’ organisation, the Helensburgh and Lomond Carers SCIO.

Family and friends watched on proudly as the area’s young carers told a passionate, often emotional and sometimes funny tale of the reality of growing up while trying to balance their caring responsibilities with their school commitments, homework and social lives.

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The show, staged on November 16, was the result of almost a year’s worth of hard work, beginning with a series of workshops tackling the issues felt most acutely by young people with caring responsibilities, such as bullying, low self-esteem, body image shame, social isolation and separation anxiety, particularly among the one in three young carers the organisation works with who are from service families.

The children were all closely involved in the planning and writing of Saturday’s production, as well as rehearsing hard and performing in front of more than 200 people on Saturday night

The cast of 15 young people received expert professional input from Des and Louise McFarlane of the Singer Station music school, in the form of voice coaching, sound and stage management.

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Steven Thomson, the charity’s young carer support worker, told the Advertiser: “The show went fantastically well - every one of the young carers involved worked really, really hard and we were so proud of them all.

“The feedback we had afterwards was amazing. One parent said ‘I can’t believe I’m watching my wee girl on the stage’, and another said they’d been blown away by their talent and confidence.

“Watching them bring the issues around being a young carer to life on stage made it a really, really emotional night.”

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