|Ten-year-old Tyana and 11-year-old Gracie at the new Blackpool Carers' Centre|
Two young sisters, aged just ten and eleven, were asked this week to name three wishes. Tyana and Gracie are day-to-day carers for their mum, Susanne, who has osteoporosis and is too ill to look after herself.
'I wish every ill person could be made better,' said one sister.
'I wish my mum didn't have to be disabled,' said the other.
And the third wish?
The third wish, they both agreed, was for 'World Peace.'
These two remarkable girls were featured in BBC Television's DIY SOS programme as two near-derelict semi-detached houses in Blackpool, Lancashire, were transformed into a brand new carers' centre.
Tyanna, 11, told the Gazette: “My mum can’t move around that well. She can’t wash herself, she can’t cook or walk without support. We’re her carers so we wash her and tidy the house and things like that. The carers centre lets us take time off for a bit and just be kids. My mum can be sat down somewhere and I don’t have to worry about her, and I can go off and play.I think the new centre is really great and I’m amazed how they did it in such a short time. Gracey, 10, said: “I didn’t ever expect to see myself on TV. The carers centre helps us take a break from caring and you can just relax.”
"It’s been very emotional and a little scary and exciting. As long as we raise the profile of what a young carer is and does I will be happy.... You would never know about my girls as they paint that beautiful smile on their faces"
A member of the Blackpool Carers team 'holds the front page' of the B;ackpool Gazette.
Photo courtesy of Blackpool Carers.
'The show served as the big curtain raiser for this year’s Children in Need spectacular. Blackpool Carers’ Centre is one of the groups supported by the annual charity appeal and its ambitious project was chosen out of hundreds for the DIY SOS treatment.The hour-long show was a chance for young carers to tell their own stories and inspire others..'
For me, this was journalism at its best, a much-needed story that proves the world is still full of genuine, good hearted people - and, of course, children.
A final word of congratulations to former Gazette features editor Jacqui Morley, now running her own company Janarchy PR, who supported the carers every step of the way.