Maidstone United have teamed up with Crossroads Care Kent Maidstone – a charity that supports young carers and the people they care for.
Crossroads works with more than 160 children, some as young as five, who care for family members as well as trying to balance a normal childhood and school work. There are almost half that number on the charity’s waiting list.
The organisation is currently receiving funding from Children In Need but also has to raise additional funds to support the six groups that it runs each month and the various respite trips and holidays that it provides for the young carers.
Crossroads project manager Jan Hall, pictured with Stones boss Jay Saunders, said: “Having the club’s backing is amazing. Not only will it help us raise funds but it will also get the message about young carers to an audience that are perhaps unaware.
“We’ve been in Maidstone for 14 years but people still ask who Crossroads are and what we do. It’s a constant battle to raise awareness of young carers and the role that they play within their family.”
Club chief executive Bill Williams said: “This is an outstanding charity and we are delighted to give it our backing for the next couple of seasons.
“Childhood is such a precious thing and to think there are boys and girls, maybe living in the same street as us, that are devoting their lives to caring for parents or siblings. They’re exceptional people and deserve our support.”
The club have two nominated charities at any one time. A new one is introduced every summer and the partnership lasts for two seasons. NSPCC Maidstone is starting its second year.