More than 1,500 Dorset youngsters are juggling schoolwork with caring for a loved one, warns Poole charity MyTIME ahead of Young Carers Awareness Day (Thursday January 28 2016).
The demands of caring are robbing the 5-18-year-olds of their childhood and interfering with their studies, says the charity.
MyTIME runs four-day residential adventure breaks for up to 24 children and youth leaders at a time at its centre at Worth Matravers, Purbeck.
Youngsters enjoy activities including archery, raft building, coastal walks and visits to Monkey World.
But the ageing building - formerly Poole & Dorset Adventure Centre - urgently needs refurbishment.
MyTIME is appealing for local tradesmen and volunteers to spare a few hours to help renovate bathrooms and repair the badly rutted approach road to the centre.
MyTIME executive director Joanne Barker said: “Our centre is in a stunning location on the Jurassic Coast but some of the facilities need a bit of TLC.
“Please spare a few hours to help these youngsters - there will be plenty of tea and bacon sandwiches for the volunteers!”
Dorset’s 1,500 young carers are among 700,000 people nationally facing similar circumstances.
Young Carers Awareness Day - the third annual event of its kind - is being promoted by Carers Trust, which was set up by the Princess Royal in 1991.
Carers Trust works to improve support, services and recognition for those caring, unpaid, for relatives or friends who are ill, frail, disabled or have mental health or addiction problems.
For more information about MyTIME or to volunteer, please contact executive director Joanne Barker, 01202 710701.